WARREN - Bob Dean said he knew something was wrong when he heard the sirens early Sunday.
Dean, city councilman, would later learn that his first cousin's daughter, Alexis Cayson, who he said had recently turned 20, was among six teenagers who had died in an auto accident on Pine Avenue.
''You always think what you would do if you had to put yourself in someone else's shoes and then when it happens to your family it is whole different situation,'' Dean said.
Dean said Cayson should be admired because she had a small child and had returned to high school to get her diploma.
Cayson was among eight teens were in the 1998 Honda Passport that veered off the left side of Pine S.E. near Burton about 7 a.m. Sunday, hit a guardrail and overturned in a swampy area, Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston said.
In addition to Cayson, also killed were: Andrique Bennett, 14; Kirklan M. Behner, 15; Daylan Ray, 15; Brandon A. Murray, 17; and Ramone M. White, 15. Injured were: Brian K. Henry, 18, and Asher C. Lewis, 15.
All of the victims were from Warren.
Dean said he received calls from several local pastors and clergy who wanted to do what they could to help the families. "I had calls from pastors Regina Thornton, George Johnson and Rick Oaks," he said.
Dean said he and others will be meeting with the families of the victims today. ''We will do what we can to offer these families our help and take care of them,'' he said.
To that end, a special fund is being established at Huntington Bank to help cover funeral expenses, he said.
On Sunday morning many area churches were announcing the news of the tragedy.
Gwen Morgan of Warren said she was at St. James Church of God when the congregation got the news.
''It was announced at the close of service that there has been a terrible accident and I wanted to drive up here. My prayers are with the families,'' she said at the scene early Sunday afternoon.
Morgan said the area has been the site of other accidents over the years.
Pastor Anthony Davis of Genesis Christian Community Center said he was at the hospital and at the accident scene on Sunday to meet with family. He also was attending a counseling gathering for the public Sunday at Willard K-8 School.
Davis and Troy Woods who work with Mind, Body and Soul know the children through Warren City Schools.
''We worked with these students through our outreach with Mind, Body and Soul. We will offer our services and support to these families,'' he said.
Davis said special prayers were said for the victims and their families who were known by many of the congregation, especially the young people.
''This is a tragedy. We had a lot of people in tears here,'' Davis said.
Several people were stopping at the accident site off Pine Avenue S.E. this afternoon placing stuffed animals at a memorial or just looking at the scene.
Edward Bernard of Warren was one of the people there and understands the loss of a family member, especially young ones. Bernard said three of his grandchildren died in a house fire in Warren that killed six people.
''My heart goes out to all the families. Although I do not know the families, every time I hear of something like this, especially when it is young people and the magnitude of the situation and the amount of people killed, it is just hard to believe and my heart goes out to them,'' he said.
Bernard said the congregation of Church of God in Christ in Warren was told of the tragedy Sunday morning.
''I wanted to come here and give my condolences. I can feel what they are facing and will go through. It's very hard to lose young people at such a young age in a tragedy like this,'' he said as he looked at the accident scene.
Deljuane Harvey of Warren also was at the scene to pay his respects.
''I heard about this in the morning. It was on Facebook about the accident. I'm still in shock,'' he said.