With tears in their eyes, a small group gathered on Monday to remember two siblings killed in a weekend crash. They sang Amazing Grace, then said a few prayers.
Dozens more stood and embraced in stunned silence.
The vigil was held in a beach parking lot in Milford, just down Gulf Street from where Alexa Heron, 15, and her brother, Paul John, 19, were killed.
"The first thing that went through my mind was it couldn't be him. I had seen the crash. Someone had told me about it. And I couldn't believe it was him and his sister," said Frank Merlo, who went to school with and played Little League with Paul John.
The two siblings were on their way home from their niece's christening on Sunday afternoon when the car Paul John was driving crashed into a utility pole, splitting the car in half.
Paul John was killed instantly. Alexa died at the hospital.
"I really can't even put it into words. We used to play together when we were kids. It's kind of a shock because she was a good kid," Brett Mejnartowicz, of Milford, said.
"She was a sweetheart. I don't know. It all came as a shock to me," said Nicole Blacketter, who was a classmate of Alexa's at Foran High School. Alexa was a sophomore. Paul John had graduated from Foran two years ago.
Their friends lit candles and brought balloons and flowers to place at the power pole, where the two sibling's lives ended.
"Alexa was like our little sister. She was so easy to get along with. She laughed at everything. She was so funny, very quiet but really easy to get a long with such a sweetheart. She will always be our best friend," said Senior Candice Rogers.
Milford police are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact them, as they continue to look into what caused the accident.
A funeral mass will be held on Thursday morning at St. Agnes Church in Milford, followed by an interment in Saint Mary Cemetery, Milford, according to their obituary. In lieu of flowers, family requests, contributions be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of CT, 126 Monroe Turnpike, Trumbull, CT 06611.