Brunswick Community Says Goodbye to Another Teen

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BRUNSWICK, Ohio -- Hundreds returned to St. Ambrose church again on Friday for an emotional farewell to another of four teenagers killed in a tragic crash on Sunday.

Friends, family and classmates of Lexi Poerner, 16, packed the church one day after the funerals of two of the other victims there.

Jeffrey Chaya, 18, and Blake Bartchak,17, were laid to rest on Thursday, then buried side-by-side.

All three died, along with Poerner's boyfriend, Kevin Fox, 18, when a car driven by Chaya crashed on Boston Road in Columbia township in the pre-dawn hours.

Among the mourners on Friday was Brunswick High School basketball coach Joe Mackey, who had Poerner in a phys-ed class.

"It's been an emotional week, for not just the families, for the entire community," said Mackey. "I think, at this time, it's hard for the families to think of anything besides their kids, but I think, in time, when they look back and see the outpouring of support from the community, it just goes to show how much their kids were loved."

Presiding over Poerner's funeral, Father Robert Stec said while Poerner was an adventurous young lady who loved snowboarding, shopping and German dancing, she was also a person whose priorities involved her family and their traditions.

He talked of a request for her grandmother to teach her a family recipe for noodles and potato.

"She loved her family, she loved everything about them, she loved vacationing with them and camping out, and she loved her grandparents' living rooms. She loved all the things of family," said Father Stec during the funeral mass.

Stec concluded that because of her faith, he is certain Poerner was now in "a wonderful place in heaven, where she lives in the light and the hope and the promise that is Jesus Christ, and from her place in heaven as an angel of God, he will watch over her family."

Friends who came to the church also spoke of Poerner's generosity and caring nature.

"It is difficult because she was a good person. That's why it is so hard," said Paige Blatnik, who served along with Poerner in a community service club at Brunswick High School.

"She always had a smile on her face, was always smiling, always was gorgeous," said Brittney Jenkins, who added, "I know that she made Kevin so happy."

"It's just a difficult time," said Mackey, who concluded, "It's going to take a long time to recover, if ever."

Meanwhile, a wake is under way for Kevin Fox from 2-8 p.m. inside The Corner Stone Chapel located at 3939 Granger Road in Medina. A funeral service for Fox is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the same location.

A memorial fund for each of the four teens has been established, and donations can be made at any First Merit Bank in lieu of flowers.

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