NEW MANCHESTER, W. Va. (KDKA) – Some things that depict love and caring have been placed along West Virginia’s Route 8 in Hancock County.
It’s an effort to find peace in a place that brought such sorrow.
Saturday night, the care carrying three teens tried to pass another car and hit a fire truck responding to a chimney fire.
Watch Kym Gable’s report:
Kristyn Butcher, Kaylin Rice and John Emmett Snow III, all 16 years old, were coming from a basketball game. All three were killed.
Pastor Tom Fletcher of the Church of the Nazarene in New Cumberland spoke at the gathering. He said beforehand, the words would not come easily.
“First of all, words don’t come very easy,” he said. “This is probably some of the most difficult times to address in our ministries. There’s deep loss. There’s varied emotions. You’ve got the emotions of the families that I can’t even begin in my own mind to calculate. What those people need is our presence. They need a loving community to know that they are there, they are embracing them and that they support them in their loss.”
And beyond that, he knows the words to the victim’s families may be the most difficult for their neighbors.
“Sometimes the best thing in regard to them is to say nothing and just show your presence,” Fletcher said.
That vigil for the victims was held at 7 p.m. Monday night at Tomlinson Run State Park, just up the road from a memorial constructed near the crash site.
People came by the hundreds to the vigil.
“It’s just terrible waking up the next day knowing they won’t be there,” classmate Alec Swiger told KDKA’s Kym Gable. “I did not expect the outcome. I mean, hundreds upon hundreds. I mean, it’s definitely emotional.”
Autumn Moninger was among the students who helped organize the vigil at Tomlinson Run State Park.
“We’re just trying to keep everyone together and realizing how fragile life is,” she said.
Family friend Bridget Williams said, “We’ve got donations from community businesses, the pizza shops, restaurants, everybody. Our floral shops donated candles. It’s wrenching on the heart to know the support you have here.”
Visitations for the victims begins Tuesday.