Wash. scholarship winner killed in Calif. highway crash

OAKLAND, Calif. - A 19-year-old college student from Washington state was killed Thursday morning in a traffic collision involving a downed tree in Oakland, Calif.

The student, Kevin Lacanlale of Silverdale, had won a prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship to attend the University of California at Berkeley and was pursuing a career in medicine.

A California Highway Patrol officer said the crash happened on Highway 13 in Oakland after a tree fell across the roadway.

A 1996 Toyota driven by Lacanlale struck the tree at about 4:20 a.m., Officer Sam Morgan said.

Lacanlale and four passengers who were also in the car got out and were walking around the accident site when a Ford F-150 pickup also ran into the tree. The pickup driver lost control of the truck and struck the Toyota and Lacanlale, who was standing outside the car.

Lacanlale was pronounced dead at the scene, Morgan said.

He was one of just 1,000 students nationwide to receive a prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship Award for 2011, which is designed to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential.