Parents: Deaths were Accidents

It has been an unimaginable and traumatic week for students and families of Kingston Junior High School.

And on top of the stress and sadness of two student’s deaths and a campus lockdown last Tuesday, a relentless rumor mill has swirled through the north end of the county.

As I spent the day in Kingston last Tuesday — near campus during the lockdown — it became increasingly apparent that students believed the deaths of Blake Whitworth, of Hansville and Zachary Kvistad of Gamblewood, both 14, had died from suicide.

Then later in the week, a story appeared in a Seattle newspaper and on at least on broadcast station stating that the deaths could be the result of “the choking game.”


It has been an unimaginable and traumatic week for students and families of Kingston Junior High School.

And on top of the stress and sadness of two student’s deaths and a campus lockdown last Tuesday, a relentless rumor mill has swirled through the north end of the county.

As I spent the day in Kingston last Tuesday — near campus during the lockdown — it became increasingly apparent that students believed the deaths of Blake Whitworth, of Hansville and Zachary Kvistad of Gamblewood, both 14, had died from suicide.

Then later in the week, a story appeared in a Seattle newspaper and on at least on broadcast station stating that the deaths could be the result of “the choking game.”

The “game” — a ritual in which participants attempt to make themselves pass out in order to feel a rush — has been attributed in several teens’ deaths in Washington. But in these two particular cases, there has been no evidence whatsoever pointing to it.

Those two theories were brushed aside by both Kvistad’s and Whitworth’s parents this weekend in stories Saturday and Sunday. Both families contend their deaths were tragic accidents.

Kitsap County Coroner Greg Sandstrom will announce his own theory as to how the boys died Monday.

The Kingston Junior High School community has no doubt been changed forever by this past week. In what ways do you think it will grow from the experience? And above all else, what have we learned from it?

2 thoughts on “Parents: Deaths were Accidents

  1. I would like to say that as a former Kingston Jr. High Student, and a close friend of one of those boys, that their deaths were not an accident. Those boys were pushed far over the edge, tortured and bullied by their own peers. Having to watch and see my other friends suffer from the loss of two really great kids was one of the hardest things I’ve ever have to do.

  2. It was not suicide. It was a acendent. For Zach at lest. I had known him since I was born. Zach was not like that. He wouldn’t kill him self. Never. He didn’t know he would die. As for you, the other anonymous person. If you really knew him. If u knew Zach like I did. U would know that he would NEVER do something like that on purpose.I wish he were here today.

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