Joe Rantz was an 18-year-old from Grass Valley, California. He was expected to graduate Bear River High School in 2017. He is remembered his outspoken nature and being highly thought of by his peers.
On December 15th, Rantz and his friend Jude Douden were driving on Highway 49 southbound toward Auburn when Douden lost control of his vehicle and collided into a Ford Pickup Truck in the northbound lane. One of them was ejected from the vehicle upon impact; both were pronounced dead at the scene. Police are further investigating the incident.