Friday, December 4, 2009

1,500 Turn Out To Mourn River Hill Student

Hundreds turned out Thursday to pay last respects to Steven Dankos, the 17-year-old River senior who was killed early Sunday in what police have called an alcohol-related fatality, the Sun reported.

A memorial service was held at St. Mark the Evangelist Church in Hyattsville, presided over by Father John Dakes.

Dakes, the former pastor at the Prince George's County church where Dankos had attended school through eighth grade before the family moved to Howard County, said that David Erdman [the alleged driver, who has since been charged in the accident] and his family should be forgiven. Dakes said that Nancy Davis had suggested as much during her only public comments since her son's death.

Looking out into a sea of sad and tear-filled eyes, Dakes said the turnout for the teenager was a "legacy of love."

Recalling a story about the wife of a rabbi who had to figure out a way to tell her husband that their two children had been killed, Dakes said the woman concluded that they had been "precious jewels who had to be returned to God." So, too, was Dankos, he said.

Drakes also had a message for Dankos's many friends and classmates, the Sun said.

"Think before acting," Dakes said. "Think before drinking."

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