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Update: Harken Service and Vigil Scheduled

Services for 2012 East graduate Mark Harken, who died in a car accident July 6, will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Five of Mark’s friends were involved in the single crash, where Johnson County Resident Clayton Miller also lost his life. The four other passengers, all East graduates, were seriously injured.

Harken’s service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 12, at Community Christian Church in Kansas City, MO.

A vigil for the Harken family, planned by Harken’s god sister and 2012 East graduate Jenna Engelken, will take place on Sunday, July 13, from 7-9 p.m. at Fairway Park.

“We are having everyone write letters to throw in the fire, with some music going,” Engelken said. “We are just going to keep praying for [the Harken family], and showing support.”

KCTV5 reports that a vigil took place at the YMCA in Prairie Village, where victim Clay Miller worked, last Saturday evening after news of the crash. The Miller family is still setting up arrangements for a funeral service.

The four other passengers, all East graduates, are still receiving care in three separate hospitals.

While the conditions of most of the passengers have not yet been confirmed, Prairie Village Post reports that Lukas Fleming, son of Fairway Police Chief Mike Fleming, is expected to be released by midweek.

According to Missouri State Highway crash report details, passenger David Draxler was transported by life-flight to Research Medical Center with serious injuries, Fleming was transported by life-flight to Overland Park Regional Hospital with serious injuries and Gage Hamilton was transported in an ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia, MO with serious injuries. Evan Westhoff, not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, was ejected from the car and later transported by life-flight to Research Medical Center, also with serious injuries.

According to a Facebook post by Mark’s brother, Erik Harken, the vehicle was traveling fast enough to flip nose over tail into a group of trees. He also posted that six people were in the vehicle, which only carried five, and many were not wearing seat belts, however The Harbinger is unable to confirm this at this time.

Mark was involved in robotics and cross country at East. Track coach David Pennington, who coached both Mark and Erik, reached out to track and cross country athletes, requesting they attend the service to show support for the Harken family.

“It is such a helpless feeling when someone passes away and especially a young person,” Pennington said. “What is there to do? Honestly, nothing you can say will ease the pain. So what can we do?  You can be there. You can be there at the funeral so the parents and family know that Mark was loved and respected. Be there to show that when we don’t know what to say or do, we can at least come along side them and show support.”

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Sophie Tulp

Junior Sophie Tulp is Assistant Editor and Business and Advertising Manager for The Harbinger. Tulp is also involved at East as a Varsity cheerleader. When she is not spending hours in the J-room, Tulp is a coffee enthusiast, recreational reader and professional speed walker. Read Full »

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