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First of 6 teens killed in Trumbull County crash buried

Published: Sat, March 16, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.





Two pastors of Genesis Christian Community Center of Niles who knew Kirklan Behner, 15, one of six teens killed Sunday in an auto accident on Niles-Warren River Road, described his charismatic personality during a funeral service Friday at NorthMar Church.

It was the first of the six funerals to occur each day through Tuesday. The accident was the worst loss of life for a traffic crash in Trumbull County history.

Pastor Anthony L. Davis and assistant Pastor Troy Woods both knew the boy because of his involvement in Mind, Body and Soul, the church’s outreach ministry in the Trumbull Homes apartments, where he lived.

“I understand that most of you feel that life was taken way too short. And in my own flesh, I questioned God, I said, ‘Lord, not Kirklan. It’s too soon, God. How can you do this to me?’” Pastor Davis said. “God had to remind me that his time

ain’t like our time. He also had to remind me that he doesn’t take everyone through the same

process of promotion. God said, ‘I have something better than just a high school diploma.’”

“Kirklan is not eliminated. He’s just not where you are at right now,” Pastor Davis said. “And what we’re saying is he’s absent on the other side of glory.”

Kirklan’s death is comparable to the presence and setting of the sun depending on where a person is on the earth, he continued. “What we see as being the very end to Kirklan all depends on your perspective. Some may say he is gone, but for others ... they are shouting glory in heaven. They are saying, ‘Welcome my brother, you have finally made it.’”

Pastor Davis remembers that in many situations in which he would counsel Kirklan, the boy would say, “‘Pastor, I got this.’ I used to pray for him and say, ‘Lord just help that young man.’

“But God said, ‘He was right, he’s finally got it.’ He’s got what we desire to have. And I know it doesn’t feel good right now, and you’ll go through times of loneliness, but he has now achieved great things.”

Mayor Doug Franklin knew the boy because of two cleanup projects where Franklin worked alongside him in the past few years.

“He had something that caused adults to gravitate to him,” Franklin said of meeting him. “He had a joyful spirit that was contagious. From that point on, I felt like he was a part of my family.”

At a cleanup on Youngs-town Road, “Kirklan was the first young person to show up that morning. That’s the kind of spirit I want us to remember,” the mayor said.

Both pastors commented on how Kirklan could be found all over town on his bicycle.

“We would always see him out riding that bike, all over town,” Pastor Woods said. “But for some reason, he would say, “Mr. Troy, I need a ride home.’ He would be on the other side of town, and you’d say. ‘What are you doing over there?’ And he would say, ‘Mr. Troy, I just need a ride.’”

Kirklan, who was in the ninth grade at Warren G. Harding High School, is one of nine children, all but one of whom live in Warren.

All six teens died of drowning, according to a ruling from Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, Trumbull County coroner. The vehicle was traveling south when it hit a guardrail and flipped into a 5-foot-deep pond about 7 a.m.

Investigators have said they are still trying to determine where the seven boys and one girl had been before the accident. The accident happened close to where several of the boys lived, and two sets of parents have said the boys were heading home, perhaps trying to make it before their parents woke up.

Two of the eight occupants, an 18-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy, were able to escape from the overturned car and run to a house a quarter mile away to get help.

On the funeral program, the Behner family thanked several businesses and organizations that helped with funeral expenses. They include Baird Brothers Sawmill of Canfield, which provided a coffin; NorthMar Church for use of the church; Pineview Cemetery on Youngstown Road in Warren, which provided the burial plot; and Reuben Gordon of Anointed Publications of Youngstown, who provided the funeral program.

Warren Council President Bob Dean said Baird Brothers, Pineview Cemetery and Anointed Publications have offered to provide their donation to all six families.

A fund called “Gifts For Our Children” is set up at Huntington Bank to accept donations on behalf of the six families, Dean said. A committee of five ministers will administer the account to ensure that the money is being used appropriately, Dean said.

Large donations have come in from Believers Church, Laborers International Union on West Market Street, the Novelis Corp. on Griswold Street, and Friendship Baptist Church in Warren.


1uselesseater(229 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Nice to see most folks dressed respectfully for the funeral, except that one fellow in the photo. Someone talk with that fellow and get his some proper grown up clothes. He needs them for a job interview.

Since good companies have donated their services and products why is there a donation fund?

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2busyman(239 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

This is crazy with all the media coverage. Our soldiers that came back from Vietnam and the Middle East do not get this treatment. And they died for their country. Let these people have peace in private without all the coverage.

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3dawn421(265 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

the pictures in the paper today were disgusting. showing people gathered around the coffin with saggy pants and underwear showing. made me sick. again where are your parents????????????/ how dare you disrespect the house of god by dressing like that? like a common thug.

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4lefty83(313 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

These days kids have no respect for anything,it's a shame.I just don't get it.

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5dawn421(265 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

really? "culture sensitivity"? these thugs need some parental butt whipping.

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6redeye1(5506 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

HellBB You are absolutely right ever since this country has become more brown, otherwise known as the takers,instead of the providers this country has gone down hill. As you people have let the idiot back into the white house this country is doomed to become a third rate nation real soon. Thanks FOOLS!! The one thing that will make me happy is the day that WELFARE IS done and gone. because we don't have the money to support it.That is coming sooner then you think LMAO

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7uselesseater(229 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I get it now.

The 49'ers fellow, he's representing the Bloods, right :)? Oh wait, he's representing the Communist/Zionist party. Is there even a difference?

Cultural sensitivity --- there's a wrongly named term in this instance. These folks at best represent a sub-culture or a very big lack thereof.

From the same inner city loins came the push for ebonics. Did we forget?

Old white men might be fewer and they are witnessing the integrate or die process. It use to mean get a haircut, proper clothing, etc. Now it means accept your people aren't reproducing at high rates while others unlike you are. Too bad those others typically represent the leach culture, violence, drugs, and degeneration as a whole.

It isn't by magic that everything is this way. It is by design. Show me some uber wealthy elitist in the billionaire league and show me his mixed race offspring. Show me his children going to the schools with the less desirable of our society. Nope, never will happen.

The other 99% of us, we have to mop up the mess. Pay the taxes. Deal with the issues in the community, in the common schools, etc.

Sad the fellow in the 49'ers gear doesn't have the respect to at least put the zombie gear away and at least wear some somber looking clothes to blend in.

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