Mourn­ers pack fu­neral for 8 of 20 killed in N.Y. limo crash

Texarkana Gazette - - NEWS - By Michael Hill

AM­S­TER­DAM, N.Y.— Mourn­ers at a fu­neral for four sis­ters and their fami- ly mem­bers killed in a New York limou­sine crash were as­sured Sat­ur­day that their loved ones can still see their tears and feel their heartache.

On a damp, chilly day, hun- dreds of peo­ple packed the pews of an old brick church in Am­s­ter­dam at the ser­vice for eight of the 20 peo­ple killed last Sat­ur­day when the limou­sine they hired for a 30th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion crashed. The stretch limo bar­reled down a hill past a stop sign into an­other vehi- cle in the park­ing lot. All 17 pas­sen­gers and the driver were killed, as well as two pedes­tri­ans stand­ing in the park­ing lot.

"The ques­tion that is in the hearts of so many is: Why?" The Rev. O. Robert DeMar­it­nis told hun­dreds of mourn­ers. "Why did these 20 in­di­vid­u­als have to be taken from us so quickly and so un­ex­pect­edly?"

DeMar­it­nis spoke on an al­tar flanked by pic­tures of Al­li­son King, sis­ter Abi­gail Jack­son and her hus­band Adam Jack­son, sis­ter Mary Dyson and her hus­band Robert Dyson, sis­ter Amy Steen­burg and her hus­band Axel Steen­burg and his older brother, Richard Steen­burg.

Urns con­tain­ing their re­mains were placed be­neath the pic­tures, with each of the three mar­ried cou­ples shar­ing urns. Five teddy bears lay by the urns, one for each young child who lost a par­ent.

A week ago, the group— most of them in their 30s— was headed to a birth­day party for Amy Steen­burg at a lo­cal brew­ery in Coop­er­stown. DeMar­it­nis said he be­lieves Amy and her friends were able to cel­e­brate Amy's 30th birth­day, but in their af­ter­life. He told mourn­ers to take so­lace in their eter­nal life.

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