Russian Old Believer victims of a fatal crash in Oregon

Fatal crash leaves Canby High School reeling

by Rick Bella, The Oregonian

Monday June 08, 2009, 5:47 PM

 Canby High School was reeling Monday from a double-fatal crash on Oregon 214 near Mount Angel Friday night that injured five others. 

«Our community is hurting,» Principal Pat Johnson said Monday. «At this point, we’re just taking care of one another the best we know how.»

Freshman Anya Ariel Chernishoff, 15, performed with the high school band at graduation ceremonies just hours before she died. Two sophomores, Michael Avgi, 15, who set up chairs for the ceremony, and Zinavi Ivanoff, 16, who played rugby on the state championship team, both were in critical condition at OHSU Hospital.

«These are all very good kids,» Johnson said. «It really is a shock to us.»

The school made counselors available Monday to anyone who wanted help. A «safe room» was set up, where students could go to sign cards and get-well posters, or simply get away to think.

Johnson said the students are members of Oregon’s Russian Old Believer community, which has settled in the Canby, Hubbard, Woodburn and Mount Angel areas. Their ancestors split from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1666-67 to protest church reforms.

Johnson said Anya Chernishoff, a Canby resident, was a good student who excelled at art. «She definitely will be missed,» Johnson said.

Michael Avgi, a Woodburn resident, is studying manufacturing engineering. «He is a very active young man,» Johnson said. «He is a joy to be around because he’s so positive.»

Zinavi Ivanoff of Canby — «Zina» to her friends — not only is a good rugby player, but an excellent student. «She’s either a 4-point student or very close,» Johnson said.

According to Oregon State Police, a van headed south on Oregon 214 at the intersection of Monitor-McKee Road N.E. collided with a Honda Accord around 10:45 p.m. Both vehicles then rolled several times.

The van’s driver suffered only minor injuries.

The Honda’s driver, Simon Alagoz, 20, of Hubbard received non-life threatening injuries, but his brother, Alexei Michael Alagoz, 19, of Hubbard was killed. The passenger in the right front seat, Anthony Mametieff, 17, of Mount Angel, was in fair condition Monday at Salem Hospital.

OSP troopers said they believed the four passengers in the back seat were not using safety belts.

— Rick Bella: rickbella@news.oregonian.com

http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2009/06/fatal_crash_leaves_canby_high.html

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