Ashtabula remembers four people killed in Friday crash/Neighbors call for safety improvements
The area of West 58th Street and Adams Avenue is known for reckless drivers.
(ASHTABULA, OH) Just days after a deadly crash killed four people, you could still see the pain and raw emotion shared by people as they stood together, just feet from where the four lives were taken in an instant.
A large group of friends, family and strangers gathered on the corner of West 58th Street and Adams Avenue in Ashtabula on Monday to hold a vigil to remember the lives of Giovanni Miller, 18, Anastasia Smith, 19, Michelle Hommes, 47 and Miller and Smith’s 22-month-old son.
“Everybody wake up, everybody be there for each other.”
Those somber words were shared by Hommes’s daughter, Sierra Rumer.
And Monday’s vigil, was shared with the sea of people, all joining to pray, and to reflect.
Many held candles, while exchanging hugs and tears, and they raised those candles up, as they released several glowing balloons to clear night sky.
Before placing the still burning lights around a memorial set up just feet from where the four people would ultimately lose their lives.
A man who was one of the first people to the crash scene on Friday detailed the horror as he and two others approached the wreck.
“To watch them pass away, we had tears in our eyes as we found that baby in the car.” He said
Leading the vigil was neighbor, Jennifer Farley. Farley knew Hommes through her sisters. Farley described Hommes as having a fun side and
"Overall an awesome grandma." Farley said
Farley lives a few houses down the street from where the crash happened and did not wish to discuss what she saw when she ran up to the scene.
While there was a time for sadness, there was also a time for neighbors to push for change to the area, which is known for reckless drivers.
One woman called on the city of Ashtabula to fix the intersection, and add a traffic light. Stating the current stop sign set up is not enough of a deterrent for drivers.
“You guys have seen how many cars have not stopped.” She said
Ashtabula Ward Five Counselor Jane Haines said a few words during the vigil, and was standing across from the woman as she made her request. Haines nodded in agreement as several others did too.
With the accused driver, Donte Conard, 48, charged with four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide on Monday, a call of unity to both the Miller and Hommes families was made.
“As of today, this morning [Monday] justice is served.”