It was an emotional goodbye as hundreds filled a Clifton Park church for Deanna Rivers. The 17-year-old's funeral was Thursday. The Shenendehowa High School senior was killed in a car accident on Saturday. Loved ones told our Megan Cruz they'll miss her beautiful personality the most.
CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. -- "Deanna was really a fun-loving girl," said Colonie High School senior Cass Ogren. She used to play softball with Deanna Rivers. "She really knew how to brighten your day - just her smile and her laugh."
But with that smile now gone, that laughter silenced, those lucky to have known her find themselves in darkness.
Her parents cling together for support as they arrive for her funeral Thursday at St. Edward the Confessor Church. It's just a stone's throw from Shenendehowa High School, where less than a week ago, the senior's life shone brightly.
"She was great," said Ogren. "Great student, great friend, so much ahead of her."
A member of the National Honor Society, a softball star, popular - Deanna had plans to graduate Shen, go to The College of St. Rose and become a teacher. Instead, that bright future extinguished in a two-car crash last Saturday.
Senior Chris Stewart was also killed. Shaker senior Bailey Wind has just been released from the hospital, but Deanna's boyfriend Matt Hardy is still being treated for his injuries.
On Thursday, though, he came to the church to say his goodbyes.
"I think it's really great how many people came out to show their support to the Rivers family," said Ogren. "I know I'm here for them and my family's here for them."
"I think it just shows how many lives she's touched by how many people showed up here," said Shen senior Kiersten Dice.
They're an extended family hoping to ease the pain.
"We're here together and we'll console each other," said Bob Ogren, Cass' dad. "It's not going to be easy."
Deanna will be laid to rest in St. Paul's Cemetery in Mechanicville where she'll be buried.
If you'd like to show your support for Deanna's loved ones - you can. They ask that you donate to the Deanna Marie Rivers Memorial Scholarship at Shen.
For those wishing to contribute, checks can be made payable to:
Deanna Rivers Memorial Scholarship Fund
c/o Shenendehowa Central School
5 Chelsea Place
Clifton Park, NY 12065
Services for 17-year-old Chris Stewart will begin Friday. Calling hours will be held Friday at Corpus Christi Church in Round Lake from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A memorial mass will be held Saturday at 11 a.m.