It is a heartbreaking story that many of us have been following since the horrific details were first released.
The limousine accident in Schoharie, N.Y., on Saturday took 20 lives almost instantly. It devastated families, killing siblings and leaving young children without parents. The victims were friends and relatives – including four sisters from one family, and two brothers from another – who were traveling to a brewery in Cooperstown, N.Y., to celebrate a 30th birthday.
The sisters were all from the King family of Amsterdam, N.Y.
It’s difficult to even imagine that type of loss.
Impossible to know what those parents must be going through.
For Matt Francisco, a gym teacher in the Cleveland Hill School District, who is originally from Amsterdam, it’s a gut-wrenching, personal loss that comes as a complete shock. Francisco was friends with the King sisters; he was closest to Mary King.
“I’m still in shock and having a hard time with this,” Francisco told Totally Buffalo in a Facebook message, “I remember Mary as an exceptional student and a hard worker. She was incredibly kind and funny. We had many classes together in middle and high school and she always had a smile and was always there to help anyone who needed it.”
Mary King-Dyson, 33, Abigail King-Jackson, 34, Allison King, 31 and Amy King-Steenburg, 29, were celebrating together when the crash happened.
They were, according to Francisco, incredible girls with incredible futures in store. His heart breaks for the family members left behind.
According to reports, a group funeral will be held for Mary, Abigail, Allison and Amy, as well as Mary and Abigail’s husbands – on Saturday.
Amy Steenburg would have turned 30 on Wednesday. The group was killed when their limo crashed in upstate Schoharie on Saturday afternoon during a birthday celebration for her.
Francisco says his heart is with his hometown right now, “My heart breaks for all the families involved. Such a horrific tragedy in my hometown. I’m stunned and saddened beyond words for those lost and those who have lost loved ones.”
Sometimes, even when you move away, a piece of you stays behind. For Francisco, this tragedy is a reminder of just that, “It speaks volumes that I may have not spoken to Mary in years but I feel a great sense of loss from this tragedy. I also knew Adam Jackson from sharing classes and through mutual friends. He was funny, always making people laugh. The Amsterdam community has lost some of the best it has to offer.”
Four sisters – best friends in life, now united in death.
Fundraising pages have been set up for the children left behind by this tragedy. You can find more HERE.