Pastor: Counseling families of children killed in cruiser crash is ‘hardest thing I’ve ever done’

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The pastor of Immaculate Conception Church tells 2 NEWS that counseling the families affected by Monday night’s deadly stolen cruiser crash is the toughest thing he’s had to do as a pastor.

READ MORE: Cruiser crash suspect may face murder charges

Father Joseph says he was at the ER at Dayton Children’s Hospital last night to pray with the families of six-year-olds Penelope Jasko and Eleanor McBride.

 “I’ve been a priest 25 years and I think this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he said.

As he prayed over the bodies, he said he was at a loss for words.

“If this is how I’m feeling, I can’t imagine how senseless this is for the parents,” Father Joseph said.

Father Joseph says he got to know the families through their involvement in the church.

“They’re a healthy, wholesome, faithful, loving, beautiful families. Both of them.”

The loss of those lives hit Jeremy Street hard.

He was on Airway Road when he saw 32-year-old Raymond Walters jump into the Riverside Police cruiser shortly after stabbing his father:

“The things that had happened prior to, as well as post him taking the vehicle, it’s just unbelievable,” Street said.

He has three children of his own.

They were in the car with him as he called 911.

“Kids were in the car singing songs, so just kind of, it made me think that I needed to come down,” he said.

Now he’s reflecting on everything that happened in the last 24 hours.

“There are those people that have no regard for other peoples’ lives, so yeah I’m definitely going to hug my kids a lot tighter,” he said.

Father Joseph says it’s a reminder he gives to people at every funeral.

“Death teaches us to hold on to the ones we have very tightly, forgive a little bit more, love a little bit more…”

Police say the suspect hit a maximum speed of 101 miles per hour and was going 97 miles per hour when he crashed near the library.

There is no word yet on funeral plans for the two girls who were killed.

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