Tears, laughter, healing at memorial for 4 students killed in plane crash

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CLEVELAND-- A campus community comes together to comfort, remember and heal.  Case Western Reserve University held a memorial Friday evening for four students who died in a plane crash.

Hundreds of people filed into the Tinkham Veale University Center at Case Western Reserve University to honor four lives taken too soon.

"It's been quite a shock, but I feel as though we're slowly recovering and healing," said student, Kurt Schafer.

A private memorial service was held for William Felten, 19, of Michigan; John Hill, 18, of Georgia; Lucas Marcelli, 20, of Massillon; and Abraham Pishevar, 18, of Maryland.

The four students were killed August 25, the evening of the first day of classes, when the small plane they were in crashed while taking off from the Cuyahoga County Airport.

Investigators said they were taking a sightseeing tour of the area.  Pilot William Felten had reported trouble shortly after takeoff.

"I hope it kind of brings some closure to the whole situation. Everyone's starting to really move on and you can tell that people are starting to heal from this incident," said student, Lindsey Robinson.

"There were both tears and laughter," said Case Western Reserve University president Barbara Snyder.

Snyder said while some of the victims' relatives listened, many people recalled fond memories of the four, who were very active on campus as freshmen and sophomores.  They were either members of the wrestling team or the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, or both.

"We know that we won't have them anymore and we've lost four great young people and the potential that they had to develop into incredible contributing members of our society as they grew older," said Snyder.

"I was awed by the strength of the young people who spoke and got up today and talked about their experiences and by the wisdom that they really shared with the campus community," said Lou Stark, vice president for student affairs.

"Even though not everyone knew the four gentlemen personally, we all knew them as a community," said student, Suhib Jamal.

They are a community looking for closure. "A sense of closure in one sense, but in another sense there is never closure with something like this. The tragedy is just too unimaginable," said Snyder.

The university’s wrestling coach, the young men’s roommates and a representative from the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity also spoke at the memorial.

Read more here.

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