BATAVIA, NY - Funeral services were held Monday morning for a popular Batavia teen, who was killed in a head on collision in the town of Stafford over the weekend.
So many mourners turned out to pay their last respects to Collin Crane, 17, that some were unable to enter the H.E. Turner Funeral Home on East Main Street.
Instead, many stood outside, braving the morning cold in silence, even though they were unable to hear the service.
Inside the funeral home Crane's crestfallen father, Jeffrey, broke down in tears, as he memorialized his son by saying, "I guess this shows what your mom and I knew all along...that you were a wonderful son, and truly the best thing that happened in our lives."
The elder Crane, addressing his remarks to his deceased son, went on to say, "you are now a guardian angel on our shoulders, and I can never say enough, how much I loved you, son."
Collin's family spoke of his passion for hockey, noting that he played for the Batavia Ramparts Hockey organization for 13 years.
Several of his teammates wore their team jerseys to the funeral.
Deacon Henry Moscicki, while conducting the service, urged the Crane family to stick by their faith to see them through what is, undoubtedly for them, the darkest of times, by reminding them their faith teaches that this is the season of advent, the season of light.
Collin was a senior at Batavia High School and many of his classmates were among the mourners.
"He was just one of those friends who, if you were ever sad or lonely, would be there for you any time of the day," said Justin Baiocco, who is also 17. "You could talk to him any time about anything... he wouldn't really tell anyone...he would just care," Baiocco said.
Baiocco said many of his classmates were profoundly impacted by Crane's tragic and sudden death, which comes as many of them are preparing for adulthood.
"I think it has hit a lot of us that you can wake up one morning, and the next day you can be gone... and it's pretty sad how that can happen."
New York State Police State still don't know why Crane, who was driving home from his job as a salesman at Pete's Tree Farm in Chili, crossed the center line of NYS Rt. 33 and hit an oncoming car head on.
Investigator Michael Notto told WGRZ-TV that there is nothing to lead police to believe that Crane was impaired, but that they are exploring the possibility of cell phone use or texting as part of the normal course of their investigation.
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