PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two families are grieving Friday night after a car lost control and flipped into the water near an Ilwaco, Wash. fuel dock.

The impact killed a Washington woman and her teenage daughter, along with her daughter’s friend. Family members mourn their loss, while remembering Kimberly Pickering, 40, as a fun and quirky spirit.

“She was loved in this community. A lot. She had a lot of friends here,” said Christina Pickering, Kimberly’s younger sister. “We moved here in the early ’80s so that says a lot about how small this town is and everybody that knew her.”

These are memories her family now hold close after Kimberly and her 15-year-old daughter, Mya Edwards, and Mya’s friend Nevaeh Longcrow, also 15, were killed overnight near the Washington coast.

3 dead after car crashes into Pacific County river
Kimberly Pickering and her 15-year-old daughter Mya Edwards were among the three victims who died after their SUV crashed into a river in Ilwaco Friday morning. May 6, 2022 (courtesy Christina Pickerling).

Police say their SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed overnight near the Ilwaco Fuel Docks before losing control and flipping into the water.

The three were found around 6 a.m. Friday. Kimberly’s sister Christina Pickering was one of the first notified. “It’s probably one of the biggest hurts I’ve ever had to feel. It’s a hard day today for all of our family,” said Christina. “It’s hard losing someone you’re close to.”

Their family says it’s still hard to believe Kimberly and Mya are gone. They say the 15-year-old loved writing and music.

“She was an amazing young lady. She had a super big heart,” said Christina. “She really kept all the kids in this family together. She was strong for all of the little ones too. She was my daughter’s best friend even though they were cousins.”

A memorial is taking shape at the Ilwaco, Washington crash site where 40-year-old Kimberly Pickering, her 15-year-old daughter Mya Edwards and her friend Nevaeh Longcrow, 15, died after their SUV crashed into the water. May 6, 2022 (KOIN).

Friends of Pickering also mourn the loss, sharing their own memories with KOIN 6. 

“It breaks my heart. This is such a huge loss to our peninsula and our community,” said Christa Stephens, a friend of Pickering’s. “She was such a beautiful mother and great friend to everyone.”

“She was really special, just a really unique and loving person,” added friend Amanda Heintzelman. “Her daughter was very empathetic and intelligent and a wonderful human being, as well.”

Christina says she was also in touch with Nevaeh’s mom on Friday as both families mourn.

“Nevaeh was one of Mya’s best friends. I’m associated with Amanda, Navaeh’s mom,” said Christina. “Her and I spoke this morning and she was pretty tore up too but we kind of reminisced some old memories from all of us together.”

Kimberly’s mom, Julie Pickering, says she’s grieving her first-born daughter and granddaughter, but still finds hope in the tragedy.

“She was my first daughter. She was a good girl, you know. She had five kids, raised them kids right, single parent,” said Julie. “At least she went to heaven, you know? Mya too. She’s in a better place.”

Washington State Police and Long Beach PD are investigating but say with no witnesses and little information besides evidence at the scene, it could be months before they learn what exactly happened leading up to the deadly crash.

3 dead after car crashes into Pacific County river
Washington State Patrol said three people, including two teens, died after their car crashed into a river in Ilwaco Friday morning. May 6, 2022 (courtesy Luke Whitakker/Chinook Observer).

In the meantime, a small memorial is taking shape near the crash site. Friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help the families with expenses.