WILLIAMSON - Last Saturday night, a memorial was held at the softball field in Williamson, celebrating the life of Adam York.
Called “Light the Night,” the event was attended by hundreds of Adam’s friends and family members.
Bessie Hunt, Adam’s aunt, said that she “stopped counting when she reached 200,” in reference to the number of people who came out to honor her nephew’s memory.
The memorial, which was held outside, began at 8 p.m. and despite cold temperatures, lasted for roughly two and a half hours.
During the tribute to Adam, gospel music was provided by Gary and Shelly Stewart and Ralph and Elizabeth Pyszkowski, and speakers included his mother Robin York, his uncle Mike York, and his best friend, Curtis Hunt.
The portion of the ceremony that lived up to the name of “Light the Night,” involved the lighting of 75 three-foot tall Japanese lanterns, which were then set aloft by friends and family members.
They lit the night sky above Williamson.
Adam was a graduate of Belfry High School and a train conductor for Norfolk Southern. He was killed while a passenger in a drunk driving accident on Oct. 13. He was in a Toyota SUV with three other men: Josh Miller, Zack Smith and Paul David Howard Jr. Miller was believed to have been driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Adam was the only man who died that night. Smith was injured, but is reportedly improving.
The case is still under investigation by the Mingo County Sheriffs Department.
“It was not a night to mourn his loss,” Hunt said, “that is something we will always do. Instead, it was a night to celebrate his beautiful spirit and the joy of his life.”
His mother, Robin, read a poem she had written for him and then spoke of the life her son lived and how much he loved his family and friends. She also asked for justice for her son.
“We want justice for Adam,” Robin said.
Just as “Light the Night” was beginning at 8 p.m., Hunt said that a Norfolk Southern train passed by the field at around 8:02 p.m. She found it touching, saying it was poetic.
“I don’t know if it was purposely held and that’s how Norfolk Southern decided to honor Adam or it was on schedule, but it was beautiful,” she said.
“It was almost like a sign from Adam,” an emotional Hunt told the Daily News. “It was like he was telling us, ‘I’m alright.’”
Adam York was born Oct. 2, 1989, in Pikeville, Ky., the son of Chester Ray and Robin Jill Tackett York. He was buried at Mountain View Memory Gardens, Huddy, Ky., on Oct. 15.
He was 22-years-old.