It was just last week that four members of the Dana family from North Lawrence died together in a horrible crash in Antwerp. Monday, they were remembered together, as calling hours were held for all four: Janet, Laurie, Caitlyn and Lauryn. Countless members of the community said their goodbyes. Among them, a group of girls who normally express themselves through precise and controlled dance, now doing all they can to hold back their tears for the friends they lost. Our Cara Thomas has the story.
MOIRA, N.Y. -- It was just last month when All That Jazz dance studio had their end of the year recital. And during summer vacation, all the dancers still got together. They had sleepovers and were making memories to last a life time, including Caitlyn and Lauryn Dana.
"Caitlyn was always, like, photogenic. We'd have our cameras out and she'd be like ‘oh I want to be in the picture,’" said friends of the Danas.
And they say Lauryn was a spitfire.
"She always tried to beat me up and all I wanted was a hug. So she used to force me off of her and all I wanted was a hug and a kiss from her," they said.
But everything changed last week when their two friends were killed in a tragic chain reaction crash. Caitlyn and Lauryn died when their vehicle burst into flames. Their mother, Laurie Dana, grandmother Janet Dana and best friend Shannon Planty were also in the car.
Rachael Ghostlaw was the Dana's dance instructor.
Ghostlaw said, "A lot of people didn't believe it. I know for a good hour, I tried to convince myself that the names were wrong that somebody else out that way had that last name, that it wasn't, it wasn't them."
Monday, a family of more than 20 dancers and their loved ones gathered at the studio to say goodbye to the Dana family. Together, they walked to the calling hours just down the road. Hundreds more were lined up outside of Flint Funeral Home to pay their respects. It was a very real picture of what had happened.
But the girls' dance instructor says it won't truly sink in until next year, when they're planning their new competition pieces and Caitlyn, Lauryn and their mom, Laurie, won't be there.
"It's sad to know they're never going to walk through that door over there again. Laurie always made sure every time she leaves, see you next week Rachael. And she was such a joyful person always had a big smile on her face," said Ghostlaw.
And it's those memories that the All That Jazz family will always remember, along with hundreds more people who were touched by the Dana family.
Services for all four members of the Dana family will Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Church in Brushton.
Calling hours for Shannon Planty will be Tuesday at Flint's Funeral Home in Moira from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Her funeral will be on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Church.
A memorial service for Maryann Gregory will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Delhi.