A Solemn Tribute to a Horrible Tragedy
KINGMAN – The entire attendance of a parade was packed into one block.
But this was no parade.
The Kingman Fire Department along with Kingman Police, Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and other county agencies escorted the caskets of Tatum Meins, 17, and Sherene ‘Siri’ Walema, 15, from Lake Havasu City Friday morning.
Meins and Walema, died on Thursday, April 13, in a horrific car crash that left three other students seriously injured.
A procession of first responder vehicles and two funeral vans that stretched from the Interstate 40 offramp to Grandview Avenue made its way down Beale Street, briefly stopped in front of Lee Williams High School’s Dick Grounds Field – the same field where Meins and Walema once played – then looped around to Andy Devine Avenue/Route 66 where the lead truck stopped between the Kingman Powerhouse and Locomotive Park and blew its horn: four horns for Meins (#4 for her softball jersey number) and four and then three horns for Walema (#43 for her softball jersey number).
Hundreds – if not at least a thousand – family, friends, classmates, teachers and community supporters lined Beale Street between Lee Williams High School and Locomotive Park as early as 10 a.m. to wait for the procession that went from the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office to the girl’s respective funeral homes.
There was plenty of chatter until the procession began making its way down Beale Street at approximately 11:30 a.m. where at that point the noise turned to silence only punctuated by the sounds of sirens and beeps of firetrucks.
Three survivors of the accident include teenagers Brady Shuffler, Reilly Feil, and Cannon Cobanovich. Shuffler and Cobanovich are at home recovering. Feil is still at Sunrise Memorial Hospital in Las Vegas fighting his injuries.
Numerous businesses have contributed to funeral expenses and other assistance to help the families through this emotional period.
Funeral services for Meins will be April 28.
Funeral services for Walema were not available at press time.
As one bystander put it, “This is a tragedy with tentacles that reach all throughout Kingman.”