Community remembers young victims of Wheatland crash

Posted at: 07/17/2013 11:52 AM
Updated at: 07/18/2013 6:31 AM

A community is in mourning, one day after a deadly crash in Wheatland.

21-year-old Taylor Binnert and 20-year-old Christopher Peterson were killed when the Jeep Wrangler they were in crashed into a tractor trailer on State Route 36 and North Road in Wheatland Tuesday.

Seventeen-year-olds Emily Peterson and Michela Murphy and 20-year-old Joanne Kruchten were in the backseat. They are still at Strong Hospital.

The young men and women were very involved in the community. All five were graduates of the Caledonia Mumford School District. All of them, volunteering together at a summer program for kids with special needs. They served as teacher's aides for the Genesee Valley Educational Program. Christopher Peterson was an aide for the last two summers. Taylor Binnert volunteered for the last two years as well. Joanne Kruchten helped out for the last four years and Emily Peterson and Michela Murphy just signed on.

A friend of the victims says the community is really coming together and has been praying nonstop for the survivors and the families involved.

Brooke Thompson said, “When I first found out, I collapsed. I hit the ground, I was sobbing. A lot of people came over my house because I was scared. I was very scared. They are great kids. Every single one of them does not deserve any of this. They are strong kids. They are good hearted. Hard workers. Great athletes. Great friends. No one can say anything bad about them. They are perfect kids and that's why it hurts so bad to see it."

News10NBC also spoke to Emily Peterson's employer. She worked part-time at Daffies Pizza. They placed a sign outside of the restaurant for Emily and the victims. Everyone at the popular restaurant is praying for Emily's return.

Suzie D'Agostino, Daffies Pizza, said, “Coming in and trying to take a moment and try to get a grip on what's happened. You've got the brother that passed away and her being in the condition that's she's in with the other girls. Knowing that she works here,  I think people are just coming in.”

Caledonia-Mumford School District Superintendent Robert Molisani issued a statement saying, "Those of us at the Caledonia-Mumford Central School District grieve with the entire community over the tragic accident involving Taylor, Christopher, Emily, Michaela and Joanne.  During their time at Caledonia-Mumford they were always known to be great students and made a positive contribution to our school community. We ask everyone to respect the privacy of the Binnert, Peterson, Murphy and Kruchten families during this difficult time.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Your messages of support for those healing and sympathy for those lost can be sent to the District by email at ssantora@cal-mum.org or by mail at 99 North Street, Caledonia, New York 14423 and we will forward them on to the families. On behalf of our school community, I want to thank everyone for their support of our students and faculty as they are also struggling with tremendous sorrow."

A vigil will be held Wednesday at 7:30p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church on Main Street in Caledonia.