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Culver HS teen, active athlete killed in weekend single-car crash; special tributes planned by softball team

Jorja Nelson
Family photo
Jorja Nelson

(Update: Adding letter to school families, softball team plans to honor Jorja)

CULVER, Ore. (KTVZ) – A 17-year-old Culver High School student and active athlete was killed early Sunday morning when her car left Eureka Lane north of Culver and crashed, Jefferson County Sheriff Jason Pollock confirmed Monday.

Pollock said the Culver girl was driving alone in a 2006 Pontiac G6 when she ran off the road and crashed around 1 a.m. Sunday in the 4500 block of SW Eureka Lane. She died at the scene, he said.

Pollock said the family and school district were notified, but did not release the teen’s name.

However, a family member contacted NewsChannel 21 and identified her as Jorja Nelson. She said a GoFundMe page has been created for the family of the teen, who she "was a vibrant soul deeply involved in softball and 4-H. She was also pursuing her dream of becoming an electrician.

There were no concerns intoxication was a factor in the crash, the sheriff said.

Culver High School had counselors in place Monday to help students and staff cope with the tragedy, Pollock said. He said the girl was active in sports and a member of the Bulldogs’ softball team.

Culver Superintendent Stefanie Garber shared Tuesday, "We have some special things happening for the softball team this Friday."

"Loss is never easy. But, Culver is mourning the loss of Jorja Nelson, an amazing student athlete here at Culver High School. As she was a member of our softball team, we met yesterday morning and have come up with a few ways of how we're going to still involve Jorja and carry her along with us in remembrance.

-- We're creating a flag with Jorja's picture on it and our softball group will have this in the dugout at every single game, home or away. This flag is hoping to join us by Thursday because it needs to be part of our Spring pictures.

-- We've ordered some rings. She loved jewelry, specifically rings. Even more specifically, turquoise rings.

So, Betty has ordered (nearing 100?) of these rings. So, the softball team will get the first pick. After that, if you're wanting one, please let me know.

-- Turquoise ribbon in the team's hair, glove, etc."

Here's the letter sent Monday to Culver School District families:

Article Topic Follows: Jefferson County

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Barney Lerten

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