Sedro-Woolley sisters mourned neighbors killed by alleged DUI driver
SEDRO WOOLEY, Wash. - Two Sedro-Woolley sisters are mourning the loss of two neighbors killed by an alleged DUI driver while trying to save at least one animal in the roadway.
"We always had the comfort of knowing they're there and knowing they are watching over us is nice, "said Natalya Schwetzer and her younger sister Nyomie.
Wayne Gunsolley, 64, and his wife Patty, 67, were hit around 1 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of State Route 20 and Rhodes Road, about a half mile from their home.
"They were super loving and always trying to help, do favors. The were fun-loving everything about them was sweet," said Nyomie. She and her sister said any time they made the local paper for academic merits or sports awards, the couple would clip the articles for them and give them atta’ boys.
The Gunsolleys lived right behind the sisters' house on Maple Lane in Sedro-Woolley. They were neighbors for about nine years.
"It was suprising kind of a jolt. Like wow, that's near me and something super close to my heart," said Natalya.
The sisters were not surprised to learn the couple parked their car on Highway 20 in the right-hand turn lane to rescue a possum or possums in the middle of the road, according to state troopers.
"Nothing was good about the situation, but to hear they were trying to do something with a purpose - they were very helpful people with anything," said Natalya.
She said the couple loved animals and would make sure their teenager's dog got back home whenever it got out.
"They would offer us books, knock on our door, we loved it 'cause we are very academic kids," said Natalya.
They consider what happened a tragedy all the way around.
The alleged DUI driver, 30-year-old Trina Junkert, was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide.
Court documents say she was driving under the influence while returning home with friends from a bridal shower.
Since their deaths, the girls notice how much they miss the little things, like hearing Wayne come home at night from work and putting out the trash.
"I'd always hear it rolling down the driveway and think, 'Oh it's our neighbor, it's okay.' Now I don’t hear that. It's different. It's lonely. It's like a lonely sense," said Natalya.
In court documents, junkert said she saw the parked car and before she knew it the couple was in the crosswalk and she said the light was green.
Junkert is due in court for arraignment July 20.