Two Bay Area school communities are mourning the tragic deaths of a Santa Clara mother and daughter. Rebecca Haselmann, 50, and Emma Nutter, 18, died just before noon on Aug. 13, when a semi-truck pulling a loaded cargo trailer crossed into their lane of traffic on Highway 95 in Malheur County, Oregon.
Haselmann was driving Nutter to Boise State University where Nutter was going to start her first year of college.
Nutter graduated from Santa Clara High School in June. A memorial of flowers, photos and candles for the Bruins alumna is now growing in the parking lot of the church across the street from the high school.
Friends and former classmates have also written messages of love, including “To the most beautiful soul.”, “Forever in our hearts.” and “The ultimate woman.”
Another small memorial has started at a tree outside of Windmill Springs School in San Jose where Haselmann was a beloved kindergarten teacher. The parents of Haselmann’s students say she was always happy and positive.
“Rebecca was my daughter[’s] kinder teacher last year. She was so happy every morning and had so many positive vibes. We are deeply hurt by this loss,” wrote one parent on social media.
A GoFundMe page is set up for the family. It is filled with more condolences from the people whose lives were touched by the two women.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Rebecca’s family at this time. She was my [son’s] teacher last year and he loved her. She was very sweet and caring and patient with him. We are so thankful to have met you. We will continue to pray for you and your family,” wrote Bianca Velazquez on the page.
“Amelia loved being a part of your Zoom classroom, you were always so patient with all your students and we will miss seeing you on campus. Amelia always loved seeing you because you always greeted her with your big smile and enthusiasm,” wrote Jennifer Ngo.
“My heart goes out to Emma’s family and friends. She was a ball of energy and enthusiasm in my class at SCHS and such a ray of sunshine in FCCLA. I am beyond saddened to hear this news,” wrote Kathy Hopp.
“I had classes with Emma consistently since eighth grade. She and I weren’t close, but her presence was impactful. I often think about how she would complement my drawings during class and how it made me feel to be seen and to have my hard work acknowledged by her. She always seemed to leave a positive impact wherever she went. Sending thoughts of love to her family and friends,” wrote Sierra Blackhurst.
According to the GoFundMe page, Haselmann leaves behind a husband and two daughters, Nutter’s father and sisters. The page has raised nearly $77,000 for the family.
The driver of the semi-truck was taken to the hospital. Oregon State Police say the investigation into the crash is ongoing.