A Seaside band teacher was one of two men killed on Saturday after a crash on U.S. Highway 26 near the Saddle Mountain State Park Road intersection.
Fredrick Scheffler II, a 49-year-old Portland resident, was driving westbound in a black 2020 Tesla Model Y just before noon, veered into the oncoming lane and struck a gray Hyundai Tucson driven by Kyle Rieger, 26, who lived in Warrenton.
Scheffler sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rieger, who taught at Seaside High School and Seaside Middle School, was taken to Providence Seaside Hospital after the crash and later flown to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital, according to Seaside High School principal Jeff Roberts.
“Despite heroic efforts from the medical team at OHSU, the injuries sustained by Mr. Rieger were too much to overcome and I am sorry to have to share that he passed away,” Roberts said in a letter to students and families.
Rieger held a bachelor’s degree in music composition and a master’s degree in instrumental conducting from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. He joined the Seaside School District in September.
“We are devastated by the loss of our band director Kyle Rieger,” said Susan Penrod, superintendent of the Seaside School District. “Even though he was only in his first year of teaching with the Seaside School District, he had already built strong relationships with both students and colleagues. We will miss him greatly and send our condolences to his family.”
Roberts described Rieger as a bright young man just starting his career.
“He adored kids and kids adored him,” Roberts said. “He had a bright, bright future here. He had massive shoes to fill with the departure of (former band director) Terry Dahlgren but did it seamlessly and put our program on a great trajectory.
“I felt like we were lucky to land a new teacher like him,” Roberts said. “He had so many talents. Connecting with kids was one of them. His musicianship was just unbelievable.”