Community holds vigil for 2 children killed in Lyell Avenue crash

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A grieving community is reaching out to offer support and prayers after a car accident that killed two children.

The children, ages 4 and 11 died and an 8-year-old boy was critically injured in the crash on Wednesday.

The tragic story, the day before the Thanksgiving holiday, brought out families touched by the tragedy, wanting to offer help, prayers or support.

Wednesday night, the candles burned and a group of supporters came together for a vigil in the middle of Lyell Avenue for the family.

“I felt compelled to come, because I’m a mother,” declared Ruth Reeves with Roc Hope Church. “I’m a grandmother, and I’m a mother of the church and I just felt like there was some comforting that our community needed.”

While strangers like Laura Lehr of Rochester came out over the course of the afternoon to pay respects and leave candles and balloons.

“My heart sank and I got sick to my stomach because it’s a tragedy. And you can’t get that back,” she said. “Years ago, I lost a lot of members of my family to a drunk driver. And it just really touched home for me. I am a mother of three kids”

Security video obtained by News10NBC shows what happened when two cars collided at Mt. Read Boulevard and Lyell Avenue.

Police say one car was turning from Mt. Read onto Lyell Avenue when it was hit by the other one driving north on Mt. Read.

The children’s mother was hospitalized with injuries described as non-life-threatening.

The vigil brought out some who identified as teachers and classmates of the children who died, sharing tears and prayers and New York Assemblyman Demond Meeks who said, “I am alumni of School Number 17 and to see the babies out here, crying, because they lost a loved one, they lost a friend, a classmate is really tough. And we just got to do what we can do.”

As supporters reached out on social media urging the community to help community leaders like Jonathan McReynolds at Aenon Missionary Baptist church asked for the chance to be able to help however they could.

He said he was stunned to see the story on the news, and then heard from numerous members of his congregation asking how they could help.

“It just hit me as a father, as a human being, such a loss of this magnitude,” McReynolds said. “I felt like just reaching out and seeing what I could do, what our congregation can do, what the faith community can do to be of support to this family.”

Rochester police say the incident is still under investigation.

The driver of the second vehicle was treated and released and is cooperating with investigators, police said.