LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Fire trucks and police cars led a procession during the late afternoon rush hour Monday as the bodies of four Louisville residents killed in a violent traffic crash outside St. Louis returned home.
Kacey McCaw, 12, and her mother, Carrie McCaw, 44, along with Rhyan Prather, 12, and her mother, Lesley Prather, 40, died February 14 in a crossover crash on Interstate 64 in St. Charles County, Missouri.
The procession, which was led by the Louisville Fire Department and assisted by the Louisville Metro Police Department, crossed the Sherman Minton Bridge around 5:30 p.m. Monday.
After crossing the bridge into Louisville, the procession continued east on I-64, exiting onto southbound Cannons Lane before turning right onto Dutchmans Lane and right onto Taylorsville Road.
At Bardstown Road, the procession turned left and passed Assumption High School, 2170 Tyler Lane, and St. Raphael the Archangel Church, 2141 Lancashire Avenue, before reaching Ratterman Funeral Home at 3800 Bardstown Road.
Along Bardstown Road, messages to the two families were laid out on signs.
Those watching the procession said they knew it would be tough to see, but they wanted to be out here to support both families.
Each spelled it out a little differently: ‘Welcome,’ 'We love you,’ ‘I miss you.’
"Even if you didn't know them, they affected so many people, just whenever they walked in, there was never a sad face in the room," Maura McGraw, a friend of Rhyan, said.
"You couldn't not laugh if Kacey or Rhyan were in there," Lucy Bancroft, who was a friend of both families, said. "They always wanted to make everyone happy around them, even if they were all sad. Carrie was just like the best coach I ever had. Same with Lesley."
Friends and classmates held candles and fought back tears in front of St. Raphael, where Kacey McCaw and her mother Carrie attended church and school.
Friends and classmates of the McCaw and Prather families, as well as members of the church and elsewhere in the community, gathered at St. Raphael and Assumption as the procession passed. A balloon release was organized as fire trucks passed by St. Raphael the Archangel Church.
"Having mass on Sunday, it was really great to see all the support that came out for that," Jessica Stone, who attends St. Raphael, said. "All the families at St. Raphael have been really great."
Rhyan Prather, 12, and her mom Lesley were also friends of the church, and part of a large network of youth sports teams both parents coached.
Maura McGraw spent the day remembering her friend Rhyan.
"It's really sad that I'll never be able to see her again," she said.
Lucy Bancroft said she saw Kacey just days ago.
“I gave Kasey one last hug on Thursday,” Bancroft said, before breaking into tears. “That was the last time I ever got to see her.”
"Just the idea that something like that could happen while you're traveling to watch your child play sports," Diane Metcalf, who knows the families through youth sports, said. "It's so frightening."
According to a Facebook post made by St. Raphael, students across Louisville will honor each victim by wearing different colors throughout the rest of the week.
Funeral arrangements have been made for Carrie and Kacey McCaw. Visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19 at Ratterman and Sons on 3800 Bardstown Road.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 20 at St. Raphael the Archangel Church on 2141 Lancashire Avenue, with a private burial for the family to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for contributions to be made to the St. Raphael Classroom Renovation Fund.
Arrangements for Lesley and Rhyan Prather have not yet been released.