Hundreds attend vigil for crash victims

by: Eric Philips Updated:

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COBB COUNTY, Ga.,None - Hundreds of students gathered Wednesday night at a candlelight vigil for a Cobb County family killed in an interstate pile-up in Florida.  As friends mourned the death of one of their classmates, they prayed for the recovery of another.

Burning candles glowed in the darkness outside of Sprayberry High School in Cobb County.  Even by candlelight, the grief was easy to see.

“It's really hard for me right now. You just have to wake up to it and go to sleep to it every single day, and you know you can't do anything,” said seventh-grader Larissa Melo.

She and others are mourning the death of 17 -year-old Sprayberry High School junior Leticia Carmo and her parents. They were killed in a fiery crash Sunday on Interstate 75 near Gainsville, Fla. 

They're also praying for her younger sister, 15-year-old freshman Lidiane Carmo, who remains hospitalized from the same crash.  The family was returning home from a church conference in Orlando. For some students, it may be their first time dealing with death.

“I was shocked, and I was confused too,” said ninth-grader Jeremiah Shepard.

Another ninth-grader, Kevin Rios, said, “One of my friends told me, I couldn't believe it.”

Melo is close to Lidiane Carmo, but she hasn’t had the chance to speak to the teen since the crash.

“Not being there for her, not being able to change it or stop anything, that's the hardest part,” said Melo.

Everyone at the vigil did not know the sisters, but somehow everyone was touched by the tragedy.

“I'm really keeping them in my prayer, like I pray for them in the morning and at night,” said eighth-grader Wray O’neal.

Students at Sprayberry High are selling T-shirts and bracelets and will hold bake sales to raise money for the family’s funeral and other related costs.