Vigil held for teens killed in horrific crash in Dearborn Heights

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:16:46 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 06 2013 02:09:34 PM EST

A community came together Saturday night to remember...

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. -

A community came together Saturday night to remember two teens lost in a car crash.

They died Friday afternoon in a horrific crash near the intersection of Ford Road and Telegraph in Dearborn Heights.

Hundreds turned out to honor 17-year-old Markel Jackson-Willis and 19-year-old Adnan Berisha with a candle light vigil at Annapolis High School, where they both attended school.

Markel Jackson-Willis Adnan Berisha

“I just want to wake up. I feel like this is all a big dream. I was just with them,” said wrestling teammate Dylan Brown.  

Candles shined in memory of the teens, which were said to be very close.

“They were very tight. Together all the time, like family,” said Markel’s cousin Flynn Early Williams.

Police say the teenagers were traveling on Telegraph when another man driving recklessly blew a red light and slammed in to Markel and Adnan, killing them both.

Deadly crash Dearborn Heights 3

“It’s horrific. There’s no answer,” said Williams.

Markel’s cousin William Willis of Westland, 21, was also in the car. He is in the hospital fighting for his life.

William Willis

“Will is a miracle. He’s doing much better. He has a long road ahead of himself,” said Williams.

Annapolis’s wrestling coach was at the event and said Adnan was a standout wrestler.

“Adnan has the school record for the most takedowns in our school history. He was the best and certainly will be missed. He was an inspiration to the kids on the team now,” said Coach Victor McGuire.

Family members described Markel as a person you wouldn’t forget.

“He was just a loving, respectful person. He had a big smile and was never down. He was always uplifting,” said Williams.

Family, friends and classmates held their candles high vowing Adnan and Markel will never be forgotten.

The man who caused the crash, 48-year-old Daemon Maniaci of Westland, also died. Police say he was driving at speeds up to 100 miles per hour when he crashed into the teens car. They say he was trying to get away from a hit and run accident he was involved in just moments before.

Funeral arrangements for Adnan are Sunday, Jan. 6 at 12pm at the Albanian Islamic Center in Harper Woods.

Arrangements for Markel are expected towards the end of next week.

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