Friends, Family Mourn 2 Killed In Rollover Crash

Nick Ackerman, Sarah Rapue Killed In Weekend Crash Near Julian

Friends and family members are mourning the loss of two recent Julian High School graduates killed in a rollover crash over the weekend.

On Monday, those who knew Nick Ackerman gathered at Nick's Knacks, a store his mother named after him.

Shana Ackerman told 10News, "Tons of things I'd just like to give away, anything that people want to stop by."

"So you're closing the store?" asked 10News reporter Salvador Rivera.

"Yeah," she said.

"Too many memories?" Rivera asked.

"Yeah," Ackerman replied.

Shana Ackerman said she just wouldn't be able to work at the store.

She and one of Nick Ackerman's sisters were at the Pine Hills-area crash site Monday looking for answers, but all they found were pieces of the bumper of Nick's Jeep.

"We found a few pieces of his Jeep. They cleaned the area really well, this is all we got," Shana Ackerman said.

She told 10News her son was very giving and hard-working.

Late Saturday, Nick Ackerman left a barbecue to pick up his friend, Sarah Rapue, who needed a ride after she had too much to drink.

"He was bringing her back to her car and that's when it happened," said Ackerman.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Ackerman and Rapue were killed when the Jeep hit a sign and went down an embankment. CHP officials said Ackerman over-corrected and his Jeep rolled more than 100 feet. Both appeared to have not worn seat belts, and the CHP said both were thrown from the vehicle.

"Half of our fatalities involved 3 percent of our people who are unrestrained," said CHP Officer Brian Pennings. "It's very frustrating because it's 100 percent preventable. That's why we call them crashes, not accident."

The entire town of Julian is mourning the loss of Nick Ackerman and Rapue, and Julian resident Sherry Daniel said, "We're a small community. We will rally around the families."

Daniel, a teacher, said many in town found out about the crash while attending church.

"Yesterday morning, we went to church, saw police open the back door looking for families to notify," said Daniel.

For Shana Ackerman, seat belt or no seat belt, it really doesn't matter.

"He was a great, great kid," she said.

Print this article Back to Top