WARREN - People gathered at the scene of an accident along Pine Avenue S.E. that killed six people this morning and injured another two.
Edward Bernard of Warren was one of the people there and understands the loss of a family member, especially young ones.
Bernard said three of his grandchildren died in a house fire in Warren that claimed six people.
"My heart goes out to all the families. Although I do not know the families, every time I hear of something like this, especially when it is young people and the magnitude of the situation and the amount of people killed, it is just hard to believe and my heart goes out to them," he said.
Bernard said the congregation of Church of God in Christ in Warren was informed of the tragedy this morning.
"I wanted to come here and give my condolences. I can feel what they are facing and will go through. It's very hard to lose young people at such a young age in a tragedy like this," he said as he looked at the accident scene.
Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland
Edward Bernard, of Warren, visits the scene of an accident today in Warren that claimed the life of six people and injured two others.
Injured in the accident were: Brian K. Henry, 18, and Asher C. Lewis, 15. Killed were Alexis Cayson, 19; Andrique Bennett, 14; Kirklan M. Behner, 15; Daylan Ray, 15; Brandon A. Murray, 17; and Ramone M. White, 15.
All of the victims were from Warren.
Gwen Morgan of Warren said she was at St. James Church of God Sunday morning when news was given to the congregation about the tragedy.
"It was announced at the close of service that there has been a terrible accident and I wanted to drive up here. My prayers are with the families," she said.
Morgan said the area has been the site of other accidents over the years.
The passengers were in a 1998 Honda Passport that veered off the left side of Pine S.E. near Burton about 7 a.m. today, hit a guardrail and overturned, Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston said.
The vehicle then became submerged on its roof in a swamp. Two of the occupants were able to escape from the vehicle and went to a nearby residence to call 911. Warren City Fire Department arrived on scene and removed five victims from inside the vehicle. A sixth victim was ejected during the crash and was located under the vehicle when it was being removed from the water.
Ralston said she didn't know where the people in the SUV were headed.
The highway patrol received the first call on the crash at 7:15 a.m., Ralston said. Divers helped the patrol, and local police referred calls to the patrol as well.
Deljuane Harvey of Warren said his uncle's friend's son was among those who died in the accident.
"I heard about this in the morning. It was on Facebook about the accident. I'm still in shock," he said.
Harvey said he wanted to be there to pay his respects.
Pastor Ann Snider and Doreen Edgerson of Warren heard the news this morning and were driving by the accident scene.
"If it is who I think it is, I knew one of them. We have heard so many different stories of who was here or that there were eight people in the car but we don't know all the facts," she said.
Edgerson said she believes she knows of one of the victims and said the families are trying to cope.
Snider said she had spoken to others and if the victims are who they believe she and Kimberly Clinkscale remember when some of the victims were young children attending Shepherd of All God's Children Preschool in Warren.
"The families have our prayers as they deal with this," Snider said.
The patrol is holding a news conference at 8 p.m. and there will be more developments to follow.