(C. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, June 1, 2012)
The generosity and compassion of Ferndale is being mustered today as news spreads of a tragic accident in Kirkwood, Missouri that hits home for many here in Michigan.
Darryl and Sue Vennard are formerly of Ferndale, and Darryl is a FHS graduate. The family moved to Missouri, near St. Lewis, where they took care of three sons. On Wednesday fourteen-year-old son Cam was walking along train tracks wearing headphones when he was struck by the on-coming passenger train. Reports say it appears as if Cam did not hear the train until it was too late. Other students were in the area at the time. Cam did not survive.
FHS Class of 1981 is seeking donations in support of the family, to assist them with the cost of the funeral, which is Saturday at 3pm. Gifts should be check or money order only, made out to Darryl Vennard,c/o Todd Caswell, 23100 Hughes, Hazel Park, MI, 48030.
Todd Caswell is the point of contact for the effort. Please reach him on Facebook or call 248-629-4392 to find out more information.
For news coverage of the accident, see http://fox2now.com/2012/05/30/incident-involving-amtrak-train-in-kirkwood/ and http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/in-kirkwood-train-tragedy-occurred-on-popular-shortcut/article_9fd32009-8dd5-50ed-9afc-bc158ba5a49f.html.
A similar tragedy occurred in Ferndale in 2006 when David Michael Smith was killed near 9 Mile and Hilton. A memorial fund exists in his honor through Ferndale Youth Assistance. http://www.ferndale115.com/20100702smith.html.
The incident is another reminder of Ferndale’s community support system, and also of the dangers of playing or walking along train tracks.