By Diana Rocco and Tim Jimenez
HOLLAND, Pa., (CBS) — On the eve of the new school year, a steady stream of parents, students of all ages and faculty walked to the Council Rock High School South gymnasium. More than 2,000 community members gathered to remember three sophomores killed in a car accident in the Poconos over the weekend.
Closed to cameras and reporters, this was their time to be with each other and remember Shamus Digney, Ryan Lesher and Cullen Keffer.
Kate, a senior, says the next few weeks will be tough.
“It’s gonna be weird. It’s gonna be very quiet and not the same. There’s going to be something missing. Really in everybody,” she said.
What won’t be present, she says, three fellow students who had so much to offer.
“Their spirit, their excitement, their happiness,” she said.
Digney and Lesher played on the basketball team and teammate senior Matt Stewart says during the vigil, he got to learn more from those who knew them best.
“It was great to get to know them and hear those stories and laugh because it helps to just take the weight off all the trouble this is causing,” Stewart said.
“Our kids are about to go through something that we don’t even know how to manage, three services in three days,” Superintendent of Schools Mark Klein said.
“They always had smiles on their faces and they were great kids to be around,” Stewart said.
The three teenagers, 15-year-olds Ryan Lesher, Shamus Digney and 16-year-old Cullen Keffer were killed over the weekend in Paupack Township. The SUV they were passengers in overturned, rolling several times. Ryan had brought three friends to his parents’ Poconos house for the weekend.
“Just playing with him a week ago at the civic center, just laughing and having a good time, talking about soccer,” Ryan Lesher’s teammate Mike Ryan said.
“All three of the boys are great kids, smart in school, all very athletic,” senior Scott Lesser said.
Police now say a 15-year-old unlicensed girl from Westchester, New York was at the wheel. She and a friend picked the boys up in her father’s suburban without permission in the Wallenpaupack Lake Development and drove off to have breakfast on Saturday. On the way back witnesses say they saw the SUV speeding by moments before the wreck. The District Attorney is still considering charges while an entire school community mourns three outstanding high school athletes who had bright futures and their entire lives ahead of them.
“I mean it’s rough,” Lesser said. “I don’t want to believe it.”
The two teenage girls and a fourth friend survived the crash.
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