(UPDATED).

Three young women died in a single-vehicle wreck on Forest Road 15 near Sisters on Thursday night.

Two 17-year-old Sisters High School students died, along with 18-year-old Amelie Malerva-Locke of Sebastopol, California.

According to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched at about 9:17 p.m. on October 1, to a single vehicle crash on Forest Road 15 about one mile south of Highway 242. Responding deputies arrived and found the crashed vehicle, a 2008 Mercedes SUV, off the roadway. Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Department personnel responded and pronounced all three occupants of the vehicle dead at the scene.

DCSO reports that initial investigation determined the vehicle was northbound on Road 15 when, for unknown reasons, it left the roadway and struck a large tree, ejecting two of the three occupants. An Oregon State Police crash reconstructionist assisted with the crash investigation. The roadway was blocked for approximately five hours.

“Our thoughts are with the families and the Sisters community during this extremely difficult time,” said Lt. William Bailey of DCSO’s Sisters office. Lt. Bailey stated that, “Investigators are still working to confirm where each occupant was seated at the time of the crash and believe speed was a contributing factor.”

The crash remains under investigation.

In a letter to the Sisters Outlaws community, Sisters High School Principal Joe Hosang wrote:

“We are heartbroken and our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with the families right now. We know there are tons of questions and we are still gathering information. Out of respect to the families, we are not sharing any details….

“A loss of this magnitude to our community is difficult, but working together, we can help our students through the grief process. Please know that we all deal with grief differently and feel different emotions. It is okay to feel whatever emotions you might be feeling. When we tragically lose someone, it leads to many questions, some of which may never be answered. Rumors may come out about what happened, but please don’t spread them. They may turn out to be untrue and can be deeply hurtful and unfair to the students and their families and friends.”

Last week’s incident is the third single-vehicle accident that has claimed the lives of young Sisters women in recent months. Twenty-four-year-old Summer Jean Collins died in a crash on Suttle Lake Road in August and 18-year-old Rianna McGonagle suffered fatal injuries in a wreck on Hwy. 199 in Josephine County last month.