Vigil Held For Lakeland Senior Killed After Falling Off Boat

GREENFIELD TOWNSHIP -- A candlelight vigil was held Thursday evening at Newton Lake in Lackawanna County.

That's where Leah Loomis, 17, drowned this week after falling off a boat.

It was a gathering on the banks of Newton Lake in Lackawanna County to honor Leah, who died in a tragic accident.

“The candles we have lit represent each and every one of us whose lives have been touched and changed forever by Leah,” said one of Leah’s friends and classmate to the crowd that gathered.

Loomis, a senior at nearby Lakeland High School drowned after falling from a boat on the lake Tuesday afternoon.

Dive teams recovered her body the next day.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is investigating.

The candlelight vigil was held to help the community come together in their grief and to remember a young woman taken too soon.

“To honor and remember our friend Leah. We appreciate it so much, more than you can understand and we know that Leah would appreciate it too,” continued that friend.

“Everyone's in shock. there's barely any people in school because no one can sit there in the silence,” said Nate Uher, a Lakeland senior.

“It's a whole different atmosphere at school. It's just very heartbreaking,” said Lakeland sophomore Joe Bootz.

Earlier in the day, it was another community that came out to both honor Leah and show support for her family: the cheerleading community in Lackawanna County.

Leah was a member of Lakeland's cheerleading team.

So teams from schools Lakeland plays against gathered on the Chiefs' home field to have a picture taken of them standing together to give to Leah's family.

“It's really emotional and sad to know that another cheerleader passed away so quickly but we are happy to be to show our love and support for the Lakeland community and everybody, like her family,” said Lackawanna Trail cheerleader Jaida Gasner.

“I just know that if it was for Prep's cheerleading team, if this ever happened, that this would mean the world to my family,” said Kristina Thomas, who cheers for Scranton Prep. “So I think it's a really great gesture and a way to show that everybody in the area is there for them.”

Donations were collected at tonight's vigil.

Organizers said the money would go to placing a memorial to Leah on the banks of Newton Lake, to create a boating safety education class as well as helping with Leah's funeral costs.