The main speaker at funeral services Saturday for one of six teens killed in an accident a week ago this morning stressed to mourners the importance of making good decisions.
So did Mayor Doug Franklin, who pleaded with young people to think before they act, saying that their actions not only affect them, but others.
''We have to learn from this,'' said Franklin at the funeral for 19-year-old Alexis Cayson. ''You may not like it, but I don't want to see anyone of you acting disrespectful of your lives, because people love you.''
Apostle Wayman Thomas of Destiny International Ministries in Youngstown delivers the eulogy Saturday afternoon at Apostolic Faith Church for Alexis S. Cayson, who died after an automobile accident a week ago.
State troopers investigating the accident on Niles Warren River Road, an extension of Pine Avenue S.E., say Cayson was the driver of a sport-utility vehicle that was overloaded with seven other passengers when it overturned and landed on its top in a pond.
Also killed in the accident were Kirklan Behnar, 15; Andrique Bennett, 14; Daylan Ray, 15; Brandon A. Murray, 17; and Ramone M. White, 15. Injured were Brian K. Henry, 18, and Asher C. Lewis, 15. All are from Warren.
The SUV was reported as stolen and troopers said excessive speed was a factor in the accident. A final report has not yet been completed.
Franklin said he was compelled to speak Saturday after attending a vigil for the accident victims Thursday evening at the site of the accident. When it was over, he saw several young people riding on the tops of cars or inside moving cars with the doors open.
He told the Cayson family during services at Greater Apostolic Faith Church on Tod Avenue N.W. that the city stands behind them and will assist them in any way that they can.
''I love you. Our city is with you,'' Franklin told the family.
In his eulogy, Apostle Wayman Thomas of Destiny International Ministries in Youngstown, said God can use a tragedy to help people realize the importance of making good decisions.
Thomas said making good decisions fits in with God's plan for us to live an abundant life, Thomas said. Sometimes unknown people in out-of-the-way places are used by God to drive God's message home, he said.
''Sometimes God uses people that don't have a name,'' Thomas said. ''He uses them to bring an awareness of how to do things the right way. And that's what this situation is.
''I don't know what it is, but the spirit of God is in this. He's trying to get us from point A to point B. Not just you people. But all people.''
Others who spoke told the family that during the grieving they need to know that God is there for them and will get them through the storm.
''It's hard,'' Minister Robert Lewis said. ''But I know a God who is able to get you through anything you can possibly think of.''
Elder Phillip Shealey, pastor of the church which hosted the event, told the Caysons that God is always good even in times of trouble.
''Even in a bad day, he's still a good God,'' Shealey said.