A 38-year old Clark College dean died in a Saturday night accident near Scappoose, Ore., Clark College President Bob Knight said late Sunday night.
In an email to the Clark Community, Knight wrote: “This morning, we received the tragic news that Dean of Enrollment Services Alex Montoya was killed in a vehicle accident near Scappoose on Saturday evening. Alex spent more than 15 years in higher education. He was passionately committed to providing access to education and a safe and welcoming environment for students. Alex has often been described by students — and by his colleagues — as a mentor, who always made time to listen.
“Alex’s loss resonates on so many levels. He and his wife, Clark’s Associate Vice President of Planning and Effectiveness, Shanda Diehl, welcomed twin sons earlier this year.”
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday had not released the name of the victim.
Officials said Montoya fell out of a pickup driven by Nicholas James Kay, 26, of Vancouver, who was in the Columbia County Jail on Sunday night with bail set at $5,625. He was arrested on suspicion of criminal negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants.
First responders arriving at 6:12 p.m. at the scene, on Dike Road southwest of Scappoose, found a man lying in the road, and were unable to revive him, according to a news bulletin from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
Kay was driving southbound in a white Ford pickup when the passenger in the bed of the pickup fell out and hit the paved roadway, authorities said.
Knight also wrote: “After serving as director of financial aid and a multicultural advisor at Lower Columbia College, Alex came to Clark as director of financial aid. He was named dean of enrollment services in 2007. Alex also stepped up to support our college by serving, with Ted Broussard, as interim vice president of student affairs.”
“Alex had an impact statewide, serving on the Washington State Financial Aid Council, the Washington Association of Financial Aid Administrators, and the Washington State Latino Caucus. Alex also served terms as both president and vice president of the Washington State Multicultural Student Services Director’s Council. He also was a community leader, volunteering as head coach of a Longview Youth Soccer Association team.
“In partnership with Counseling Services, we are working to ensure that grief counselors are present at the college this week.”