By Drew Dzwonkowski
Holt Journal Staff Writer
Hundreds of Holt students and residents gathered at Veterans Memorial Park Monday night to mourn the two local teens killed in a car accident Sunday. The victims were Holly Bossenbery, a 17-year-old Holt High School senior, and Taylyr Cochran, an 18-year-old graduate of Holt High who was attending Lansing Community College. Two other teens in the car were injured.
Those gathered together at the park lit candles and remembered their classmates.
“Me and Holly always walked class-to-class together,” said Anthony Cooper, a junior at Holt High School. “Tonight is an eye-opener,” he said.
“They were always happy people,” said Holt High junior Cody Bradford. “Everyone knew them, and they knew everyone,” he said.
The vigil began at 6:30 p.m. and lasted until 8 p.m. Attendees hugged for comfort and for warmth in the 10-degree temperatures. Once each candle had been lit, friends and family of the victims thanked the crowd for their support, and all joined in reciting the Lord’s Prayer and sang “Amazing Grace.” It was a coming together of school and community.
Students said that the tragedy, while horrific and heartbreaking, has united the city of Holt. Dozens of volunteers served hot chocolate and coffee, to help subvert the cold and extend the memorial longer into the night. Large banners circulated throughout the community during the day, on which the friends and loved ones of those hospitalized from the crash could scribble a get-well note and sign their name. The banners accumulated hundreds of notes by day’s end.
“Holly was right down the hall from my locker,” said Courtney Tharp, a Holt High junior. “It’s really upsetting, but it’ll make people closer together,” she said.
“Tonight got everyone to see that maybe what’s happened is a tragedy, and to pick themselves up from it,” said Bradford.
“The turnout was really good,” said Cooper. “This is going to make the community a lot stronger, and the school a lot stronger,” he said.