Hundreds Attend Tremont Vigil

By Nick Perreault

January 23, 2011 Updated Jan 23, 2011 at 11:15 PM CDT

At a candle light vigil, hundreds of friends and family members stood shoulder to shoulder at Tremont High School Sunday afternoon. They came to grieve for two young lives lost in a tragic accident.

Just before Nine a.m. Saturday, authorities say Michael Honan lost control of his pickup truck heading westbound on I-74. Honan crossed the median into oncoming traffic and crashed into a school bus.

The bus was carrying the Tremont girls basketball team on its way to a game in Downs. At first, school authorities didn't realize the pickup truck also contained Tremont students.

"To get the word that the other vehicle contained students from tremont high school and that they had died in this accident, was just almost beyond belief," said Tremont Superintendent, Don Beard.

"It was heart wrenching just to imagine that something like that could happen to us," said Tremont HS Athletic Director, Jim Workman.

Numerous pastors from around the area including Morton and Pekin, were present to give support to the Tremont student body and act as a sounding board for them. Cathy Wiemer says this service shows how the community comes together in times of need.

"I think this ceremony, with the whole town coming together that it makes such a difference in supporting whether you know these kids or whether you don't," Wiemer said.

Today's vigil ceremony at Tremont High School is just the beginning of the grieving process for these students, according to the superintendent they plan on having grieving counseling throughout the week and have cancelled all activity through Wednesday.

"Grieving needs to take place at this point and again students, many of them for the first time are experiencing something of this magnitude we want to try and give them as much support as we can," Beard said.

The Tremont District Administrators plans on meeting later in the week to re-evaluate the emotional state of the faculty and students. They plan on keeping a close eye on how the aftermath of a tragic weekend is affecting the community and classroom.