PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Peoria community is dealing with the loss of four women, all killed in a car crash early Sunday morning.
On Monday, the community came together at Manual High School to lift one another up through this difficult time.
“It hurt the whole city,” said Emieria Brownlee.
22-year-old Jazzman Burns, 19-year-old Quanlyan Thomas, 18-year-old Tyesha Thomas, and 18-year-old Diamond Williams all died at the scene, according to Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood.
“These four girls really brought the whole city together and it’s amazing that they did,” said Zatayia Lindsey.
There were tears and grief but also smiles as friends and families remembered the time they had with these women.
“It’s a huge loss to lose all four girls so young and so tragic,” said Jane Kresl, a teacher at Manual High School who taught and coached two of the women.
Kresl said she’s still in shock and finds it hard to believe the women are gone.
“Even this morning, I woke up and didn’t want to believe it,” said Kresl.
At Manual, family, friends, former classmates, and teachers gathered, sharing memories, signing posters, and supporting one another.
“It’s really hard especially with how things are right now with them being at home, you know. We need them, they need us, and then when something like this happens we really need them and they really need us,” said Manual High School teacher Jade Davis.
At the scene of the crash, balloons are flying and candles are still lit after a vigil Sunday night.
“It’s a real hard loss for us. I mean I don’t know how to deal with it. I don’t know if I can get over this,” said Brownlee.
Brownlee said she will never forget the lives lost.
“We got a lot of good memories, but I don’t think memories are enough,” said Brownlee.
A spokesperson for Peoria Public Schools said counseling services are available to people who need it.
- Local winery crafts new wine to help animal shelters
- 2021 Bradley students graduate outside and in-person this weekend
- Peoria State Hospital Museum hosts 10th annual Bazaar
- Tazewell County Health Department hosts drive-thru vaccination clinics
- Child tax credits, jobless benefits and more: IRS highlights changes ahead of May 17 filing deadline