PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Hundreds gathered Wednesday morning at Our Lady of Mercy Church to celebrate the life and mourn the tragic death of Joseph Touri, 18, of Rye Brook.
Joseph Touri died of massive trauma on Friday after his Ford Mustang hit a tree near Port Chester High School. A 16-year-old passenger was admitted to Westchester County Medical Center with critical injuries. Police cited excessive speed as a factor in the crash which is under investigation.
"When a young person dies, no words comfort us,'' said the Rev. Timothy S. Wiggins. "A death of a teenager seems so senseless, so wasteful and so inconsistent with all we know of our creator. As a parish community, we are terribly saddened by the death of Joseph Mendicino Touri, affectionately known as Joey."
"Joey will be with God,'' Wiggins continued. "We will meet Joey again in a special place called Heaven, where every tear will be wiped away."
"But we have the 'whys.' Why is there pain in this world? Why do accidents rob us of our hopes, wishes and dreams?'' Wiggins said. "There are no answers, no appropriate answers."
If God had given Joey more years, Wiggins said, the Port Chester High School senior would have made his mark in the fashion industry. His mother, Mary, said he was fastidious about his clothes. He always dressed "fresh," had a wide collection of shoes, knew not to wear denim and denim and hated fuzz, always carrying a lint brush with him.
Wiggins said Joey loved his friends, family and dog Montana. "He always had a smile on his face, was always happy to be with his siblings," Johnny and Christina.
John Touri Jr. called his younger brother loyal and humble. "He was a man of few words. All it took was one smile. He had a heart of gold and always stood up for things he loved."
Johnny said he was wearing his brother's Burberry belt. "I know you'd flip,'' he said. "Montana is in good hands. ... Save me a seat in heaven."
Mrs. Touri advised others to "stop, think and learn from Joey's tragedy."
"Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday. We also gather on this day to ask the Lord's blessing on Joey" Wiggins said.