Sonoma residents remember car crash victims

December 4, 2009 6:37:35 PM PST
What should be a joyous holiday gathering in Sonoma was is mixed with profound sadness. There was a procession and a march to remember the family killed in the Highway 37 crash.

The tree lighting ceremony took place at Sonoma City Hall and it was very emotional.

It has been a long week of shock and grieving, as friends and family of the Mahoneys came together for a memorial on Friday afternoon.

They described it as an old fashioned wake. There was a procession of friends, family and mourners after a ceremony, which lasted close to three hours.

John Mahoney, his wife Susan and their children, Grace and Aiden died last weekend, after speeding car broadsided them. That driver died as well.

Then, burglars broke into their house and those two suspects are now in jail.

Friends and family described the Maloneys were too good, too nice, too giving to suffer such fates.

"It was very sad to see a young family taken like that. It was very powerful. They were lovely people," said family friend Anne O'Brien.

"It's a senseless, senseless tragedy. You talk about win-win situations. This is a lose-lose," said Prestwood Elementary School Principal Linda Tiefenthal

Tiefenthal led a procession of Grace and Aiden Mahoney's classmates from the school to the Sonoma town square, where the annual Christmas tree lighting just took place.

She said it is the least they can do after a week like this, to end it on a positive note. She also said what they said about Mr. Maloney was very fitting.

In the memorial, many people spoke about how John Maloney lived life for perfect moments and that's what they were trying to create here.


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