Final Farewell for Two Jim Thorpe Cheerleaders

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LAKE HARMONY -- A community in Carbon County said goodbye to two Jim Thorpe Area High School cheerleaders killed in a crash last week. A joint memorial service was held Monday morning for the two sophomores.

While that was going on state police were back at the scene trying to figure out what went wrong last Thursday night.

Hundreds turned out to say goodbye to Jasmine Fonseca and Taylor Shepherdson.

Family members, teachers, first responders and many of the girls’ friends, who are about to start sophomore year of high school on Wednesday without them.

Cars packed the parking lot and school buses shuttled even more people to the church in Lake Harmony as a community said goodbye to the two teens.

The two 16-year-old cheerleaders were killed Thursday night in a tragic crash on Route 903 near Jim Thorpe.

Trevor Keefer was Shepherdson’s neighbor and friend.

"She was on her way home from cheer practice. It was hard because I talked to her literally just before. I'm a football player. I was leaving practice, said goodbye to the cheerleaders, her and Jasmine included,” said Keefer.

Both girls were members of Saint Peter the Fisherman’s Church. Many of the girls' closest friends filled the seats, comforting one another.

"I grew up with them. They were my best friends, did cheerleading together, went to school together,” said Jim Thorpe cheerleader Dakota Cwiertniewicz.

"I just miss them, I don't know what I'm going to do without them. I spent almost every single day with them,” said Cwiertniewicz.

Meanwhile Troopers were back along Route 903 near Jim Thorpe reconstructing the crash that happened during heavy rain.

State Police say 18-year-old Tegan Kane lost control of the minivan, crossed into the opposite lane of Route 903, and was hit by an SUV. Six others were injured.

Some say returning to the football field after the crash is going to take "Olympic" strength not having these two girls on the sidelines.

"Not having her there cheering us on--every win, every score, every touchdown is for them,” said Keefer.

First responders who rushed to that crash also showed up to the somber service.

"It was the worst call that we had to experience, at least myself and my younger son, we're actually friends of the family,” said Penn Forest Township Vol. Fire Co. Assistant Chief David Michel Jr.

Others helping to park the cars knew the Kane family well growing up and were heartbroken.

"Very, very sad day, it really is. There's no words that can say how we feel. We feel terrible,” said Bob McDonough of Albrightsville.

Jim Thorpe’s superintendent said the district is working hard to make sure everyone gets the support they need.

“Seeing many of them last night I believe the healing process has begun. We're going to stick together, support each other and heal,” said Superintendent Brian Gasper.

Many say that healing is going to be hard.

"You just have to go on, keep your faith and pray and try to go on,” said McDonough.

We reached out to state troopers and have not gotten an update on the investigation or the condition of the others who were badly injured in the crash.

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