By Steve Tawa and Jan Carabeo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia community said goodbye today to three children killed in a violent tragedy: a carjacking, assault, and car crash that took the lives of those three young bystanders.
Audible sobs could be heard as mourners filed past three white caskets at the front of Seventh-Day Adventist Church, at 16th and Oxford Streets in North Philadelphia.
Church elder Nick Taliaferro, reading from scripture, offered prayer of comfort.
During the eulogies, DA Seth Williams and state representative Curtis Thomas spoke about the sorrow and pain felt by the family, friends, and all of Philadelphia over the loss of 15-year-old Keiearra Williams and her brothers, nine-year-old Joseph Reed and seven-year-old Terrance Moore.
The children were struck and killed by an SUV during a carjacking.
Thomas noted that the children had been selling fruit at a stand to raise money for a community garden. While we mourn their loss, he said, we cherish their lives.
“She was just a blessing to have within our school,” said Herman Douglas, Keiearra’s sixth grade teacher.
“Academically, she was extremely strong, in mathematics and also reading,” Douglas said.
Her younger brother, Joseph, known to family and friends as Joe-Joe, was active. He liked to ride his bike.
The smallest, Terrence, loved to watch wresting and play with his older brother.
Their mother, 34-year-old Keisha Williams, was not able to make the service.
She was critically injured July 25th and is still in the hospital this evening.
Meanwhile, the memorial continues to grow at the crash site and another vigil is planned for the end of this month.
A trust fund is being set up for two surviving young siblings of the victims.