A vigil took placed at Strongsville Commons on Friday night to honor the Strongsville High School students who were involved in a car accident on Wednesday, including the teen who died.
According to police, the vehicle they were in was traveling on Albion Road when it left the roadway and struck a tree. Six people, all aged 16, were in the vehicle at the time.
Following the accident, the police and Strongsville school district confirmed the death of Kailee Mayher, a sophomore at Strongsville High School, who was ejected from the vehicle.
Three other girls were taken to local hospitals with injuries. Two others, including the driver, were not injured from the accident.
On Friday night, the community came together in hopes of starting to heal. Trish DeNoto, a mother of children in the Strongsville school district, helped coordinate the vigil to honor the teens and their families. (Click NEXT PAGE for more)
“This is a memorial in support of all the families involved in the car accident. This event is really in support of the community as a whole, it’s an outreach event that we hope will help the community start to heal.”
Donations made at the event will be distributed to all six families, DeNoto said. Several privately-run online fundraising accounts have been created specifically for Mayher’s family.
Local companies rallied in support of the community, providing materials to make the memorial possible.
According to DeNoto, donations came from Pat Catan’s Arts and Crafts Stores, A.I. Root Candle Co., Old Carolina Barbecue Company, Wal-Mart, Darice and Good Times Party Supply. Candles, ribbon and food are among the items donated.
A priest from St. Joseph's Catholic Parish, the home church of the Mayher family, oversaw the memorial. It featured performances from the Strongsville High School choir, a balloon launch and candlelight vigil.
“This has really been a community effort. So many parents have been involved. Virna Varadoe has been another mother really working with me to rally parents and bring the community together,” DeNoto said. “Strongsville, as a whole, has really come together to begin helping others heal.”