Bracelets to honor car crash victims

2007-03-11T00:00:00Z Bracelets to honor car crash victimsBy Mary Ann Albright
CORVALLIS GAZETTE-TIMES
Corvallis Gazette Times

Shaena Behbahany only knew Quinn Truong for about a month, but it was enough time for the two to grow close.

When Behbahany, a freshman at Oregon State University, joined Delta Gamma last fall, Truong was her "big sister" in the sorority.

"She was always really helpful. She helped me out a lot with getting used to everything in the house," said Behbahany, 19, an interior design major from Lake Oswego.

Truong died last fall in a car accident, and now it's Behbahany's turn to return Truong's kindness.

Behbahany designed a white rubber bracelet honoring the memory of Truong and boyfriend Jeffrey Schmidt, who also died in the accident.

The bracelet resembles the popular Lance Armstrong "Live Strong" wrist adornment, and reads "Quinn and Jeff, In Our Hearts Forever."

Behbahany collected money from OSU's Greek community to pay for 1,100 bracelets, which she ordered through the Web site www.ezbands.com.

The bracelets should be ready by the end of the month, and will be sold for $4 each.

Half the proceeds will go to a Delta Gamma scholarship in Truong's name, and half to Jackson and Douglas County search and rescue teams in memory of Schmidt.

Schmidt's family also established a private memorial fund at Washington Mutual Bank, with proceeds to benefit the sheriff's search and rescue teams in Douglas and Jackson counties.

While Behbahany was a student at Lakeridge High School, a peer was killed in a drunken-driving accident. The school rallied together and made wrist bands in his honor, and Behbahany decided to do the same for Truong and Schmidt.

"I just felt it necessary to do something for them," she said.

Also assisting Behbahany in the project was Ashleigh Stroud, an OSU student and high school friend of Truong.

Schmidt, 22, and Truong, 20, were last seen Nov. 19, when they started driving back to Corvallis along Highway 138 from a Greek weekend event they had attended at Diamond Lake. They were reported missing Nov. 20.

Truong's body was recovered Nov. 21 from Schmidt's Jeep Wrangler, which authorities said apparently plunged over a steep embankment and crashed into the rain-swollen North Umpqua River near milepost 48.

On March 1, Schmidt's body was found a mile away, near milepost 47.

Truong, a Tigard resident, was a sophomore majoring in merchandising management.

Schmidt, of Medford, was a senior at OSU. He was a geography major, was in the Marine ROTC, played lacrosse for the university club team and was an officer in Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

The bracelet features an anchor and a cross and crescent, symbols of Delta Gamma and Lamdba Chi Alpha, respectively.

Behbahany remembers Truong as "always smiling. I never saw her mad or upset." Schmidt was "really smart," she added.

"The bracelets are just a way to remember them because they were both such amazing people," Behbahany said.

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AT A GLANCE

In honor of fellow students Jeffrey Bernard Schmidt and Quinn Do Truong, who died in a Nov. 19 car accident, Oregon State University freshman Shaena Behbahany is selling white rubber bracelets reading "Quinn and Jeff, In Our Hearts Forever."

The bracelets cost $4, and the money raised will be split between a Delta Gamma scholarship in Truong's name and a contribution to Jackson and Douglas County search and rescue teams on behalf of Schmidt.

Behbahany ordered 1,100 bracelets and expects to have them by the end of the month. To purchase a bracelet, contact her at behbahas

@onid.orst.edu

Mary Ann Albright can be reached at maryann.albright@lee.net or 758-9518.

Copyright 2016 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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