OHHS grad dies in Ellensburg wreck

A 2000 graduate of Oak Harbor High School died Friday from head and chest injuries sustained when his car rolled over outside of Ellensburg.

Brandon Bonson, 23, was driving by himself at approximately 2:30 a.m. when he lost control while negotiating a curve, his mother, Mary Bonson said.

“We were luckier than most parents,” she said. “He was very open with us and honest.”

According to local news reports, small amounts of alcohol and marijuana were found in Bonson’s car. Law enforcement officials are still awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Mary Bonson said that drinking and driving would have been out of character for her son.

“He was usually the designated driver,” she said. “He was the one who would sit there for an hour with one beer.”

Bonson was extremely active while a student at OHHS. He was a two-sport athlete, playing both football and wrestling. He was an executive officer and on the rifle team for the ROTC.

Mary said that Bonson was extremely focused and had already planned the next few decades of his life. He was going to school to earn a degree in education, but planned on enlisting in the Marines so that he could fly helicopters. He also had plans to write at least two books, she said.

“He was very accepting of other people, other beliefs and other possibilities,” Mary Bonson said.

Bonson was supposed to graduate this coming spring from Central Washington University. But the fact he was growing up didn’t stop him from bringing out the inner child in himself and his friends, his mother said.

“When he was little, it was like he was a little boy and an old man at the same time,” she said. “As he got older, he maintained that innocence.”

According to a report in the Ellensburg Daily Record, this is the third serious acciedent to occur in that area since the beginning of the year.

Mary Bonson said that the family is planning a ceremony for her son that will be open to the public on Sept. 3. Details have not been finalized, however, she said.

You can reach News-Times reporter Eric Berto at

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