Conflicts can seem to progress or get worse as easily as gravity pulling you down a mountain. It seems to take no extra effort to get angrier and say and do things that descend the conflict towards violence or broken relationships. However, it does seem to require extra effort in a conflict to climb your way into a peaceful solution. Whether we handle a conflict properly or improperly, our choices impact lives and relationships. It is our choice whether to allow pride, grudges and hate to prevent us from resolving conflicts.
In the example of Ella, the conflict began with a comment, which escalated to a verbal argument and then developed into a physical fight.
This progressed further when Rebekah got her suitemate involved. The conflict was further escalated by the car accident, which resulted in Ella's death.
The source of the conflict was the disagreement over the comment about the test and there were other ways for the parties involved to resolve the conflict. It is usually easier to resolve conflicts between individuals soon after the initiation and to identify peaceable solutions. Once adrenaline starts flowing, feelings get hurt, and hurtful words are verbalized, it usually will require more time and effort to climb out of the conflict.