Vigil held for girl killed, teens hurt in Worcester crash involving stolen SUV
WORCESTER - A community gathered around a street corner memorial on Saturday for a 13-year-old girl killed last weekend when the speeding, stolen SUV she was riding in ran a red light and hit two other cars.
Those who turned out were not passing judgement.
"Today is not about anything or anybody but the families, just as well as the children that may have been affected by this," said community activist Latoya Lewis.
Four other teens in the SUV were seriously hurt, including a classmate of 12-year-old Adrian Browne-Jackson.
"We're trying to do our best to manage it and trying to work through it together as friends," said Brown-Jackson.
The crash has stirred some angry debate this week, with some of the teens' relatives asserting that police first initiated a dangerous chase and then took their time getting to the crash scene. Police say there was never a chase and no delayed emergency response.
On Saturday night, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty only wanted to talk about young lives lost.
"We offer our support and prayers to the families, to the children, who are involved. They are our children and that's why we are here today," said Petty.
On Saturday, friends and classmates of the teens were invited to write messages to them on canvasses, with the hope they'll life the spirits of those in hospital and provide some comfort to family of the girl who was buried on Saturday.
"We want to be able to send this over to the family so that when the kids do recover and they get home, they get to see all the support that the community had for them," said Lewis
It was an awkward vigil in that the five teens are accused of breaking the law when this tragedy happened. But one parent was quick to note that healing and forgiveness are both important lessons.
"You know, they go back to school in a few weeks, and it's a life-changing event for all of them. And they are kids," said parent Makaliah Brown.
A 15-year-old remains in critical condition and still in a medically-induced coma.
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