Birch Bay teen killed in steamroller ‘joyride’
A Birch Bay resident who took a steamroller on a joyride was killed when the machine he was riding on tipped over.
Justin Wydur, 18, was killed early Tuesday while driving a steamroller at a construction site on Semiahmoo Parkway. The accident happened shortly after midnight.
Whatcom County Sheriff’s Sgt. Larry Flynn said Wydur and two 17-year-old friends had trespassed onto the site and went joyriding on the heavy equipment. Wydur reportedly tried to negotiate a steep, loose pile of dirt and was killed instantly when the machine rolled over, pinning him.
The construction site is in the 8500 block on the west side of Semiahmoo Parkway just east of the Horizons at Semiahmoo development.
Wydur was a member of this year’s Blaine high school senior class, but he also attended Lynden high school during his academic career. He recently earned his diploma from a school in Alger and had been planning to join the Navy, following in the footsteps of his grandfather William who had a 20-year career in the Navy.
“His placement test for the Navy was scheduled for today,” said his mother, Rachel Wydur. She and her husband Ed have two other children. The family is active in the Northwest Junior Rodeo Association, and Justin’s events were bull riding and steer wrestling, where he earned his first buckle for first place at Sumas Junior Rodeo in September last year.
Wydur was described by his father as a “kid who liked to make people laugh. He had a heart of gold,” Ed Wydur said. “He was also a very good hunter, the only person I know who shot a cougar and a three-point buck on the same day. When he discovered that the cougar was stalking the same deer as he was, he got them both, and later offered to give us older guys some hunting tips if we wanted. He liked to have fun whatever he did,” he said.
He grew up in Custer and enjoyed off-road vehicles, horseback riding, sport hunting and hanging out with his friends, according to information posted on his Myspace page.
Friends say he enjoyed four-wheeling in his late-model Toyota truck.
On early Wednesday morning, several of Wydur’s friends were circulating a chain email recalling their adventures together. Several said they knew him as a “fun, laid back guy” who had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed practical jokes.
One comment left by “Rachel” recalled a recent joke played on Wydur by his friends that involved pushing his vehicle down the street without his knowing.
Another comment left by “Bri” recalled a past Halloween where she and another friend playfully threw candy at him when he was trick-or-treating at their home.
Blaine high school graduated Pedro Becerra, 17, said he has known Wydur since third grade when they both lived in Custer. The two boys moved to Blaine with their families at the same time and continued their friendship all throughout high school.
“He was my best friend,” Becerra said. “His family was my second family.”
Brecerra described his long-time companion as “always happy” and caring about others before himself.
“He was always the life of the party,” Brecerra said. “Everyone knew when he was in the room. He was a good person.”
The family said that arrangements are pending with Valley Funeral Home of Lynden.