MARMET, W.Va. -- As the first paper lantern floated into the dim Sunday evening, the only sounds that broke the silence on Ben Morris Field in Marmet were a nearby train whistle and a few sobs.
"We love you, Cody," came one voice from the crowd.
"We'll miss you, bud," said another.
A second lantern started its slow ascent, and the crowd began to sing "Amazing Grace," the candles they cradled revealing their tear-stained faces.
"If you've got something to say, let it out," said Shawn James, one of the coaches for the Twin City Miners, a community football team. "It's part of the healing process."
The healing process had just begun for many Marmet residents and Riverside High School students who had known Cody Perdue, 17, and Mason Roush, 18. Both teenagers were killed Saturday night in a head-on collision on U.S. 61 just south of Kanawha City. Roush was driving south in a Ford F-150 when he pulled into the northbound lane to pass a slower vehicle and collided with Perdue, who was traveling north, according to Trooper A.B. Wilson of the West Virginia State Police.
The crash, which happened around 10 p.m. Saturday, also left Perdue's passenger Kirsten Young, 16, with severe injuries, including several broken bones and injuries to her chest, ribs, arms, nose and ankle. Young is at CAMC General.