'They made a lasting impression on us:' Vigil honors Tacoma family killed in Oregon crash
TACOMA, Wash. - A devastating car crash killed a family of seven earlier this week brought together loved ones who came to grieve at a local park and find peace amid all that pain.
“They made a lasting impression on us, every one of us," said Cora Warren, a relative of the deceased.
Grief now colors those memories, as family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember two moms, both young and committed to their kids.
“Up until now, I've been asking everybody to pray to God and get an answer because he's not answering me, but today I got the answer from everybody else that I've been seeking so long for,” said Louis Johnson, whose daughter, girlfriend and grandchildren were all killed in the crash.
For Johnson, that answer is a renewed sense of community in the face of this horrible loss.
Others who came to share were still overwhelmed by emotions, and put their trust in each other to try and heal the pain.
“One of the wonderful things, if there’s anything you can look at, is those children are in heaven with their mothers and they're not going to live a life without their mothers,” said Bruce Brown, whose daughter and grandchildren died.
The victims are Erika Carter Boquet, 29, Isabella Earlene Boquet, 11, Elisabeth Ann Boquet, 8, and Tytis Michael Boquet, 6, all of Tacoma, and Kyla Marie Brown, 28, Arianna Marie Brown, 10, and Xavier King Johnson, 2, all of Olympia.
An online fund has been set up for those who want to help with funeral expenses.
In addition to the family of seven, investigators said the crash also killed the driver who hit them. Oregon State Police said Mark Robert Rundell, 48, crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision near Burns.
There were no obvious signs of impairment at the crash scene, according to investigators, but toxicology tests are underway.