Family, Friends Hold Candlelight Vigil In Memory of Belvidere North Students

BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- More than 1000 people gathered at Belvidere North High School for a candlelight vigil in memory of two students killed in a car crash Friday night.

"They were just two great people, like they were amazing people. If you had never met them, you would want to meet them. They would end up making your day a whole lot better”, says Thalia Arredondo’s boyfriend, Moises Rosas.

Caring, happy and inseparable.

That's how family, friends and classmates described Brenda Gutierrez and Thalia Arredondo...the 16-year-old Belvidere North High School students who died in a car crash Friday night on Route 76 in Belvidere. Sunday night, a candlelight vigil at the high school was held in their memory.

"They both together had the prettiest smiles I had ever seen in my life and they never ever, ever left their faces. Knowing them was one of the best things that God could have given any of us”, says the girls’ former cheerleading teammate Alyssa Peterson.

More than 1000 people gathered for the vigil, where the crowd shared their favorite memories and students from across the Stateline came to show their support.

Another former cheerleading teammate of the girls, Danielle Hammer says, "It just shows that not only our cheerleading team that they were important to but this entire community. Everyone knew who they were and everyone will remember them for their amazing personalities."

Gutierrez and Arredondo are also being remembered at the crash site where family and friends placed flowers and signs; bringing communities together on a Sunday night in memory of the two Belvidere North cheerleaders

"The easiest thing was to be together in one place and celebrate their lives all together. That's what they would want”, says Hammer.

The memorial for Gutierrez and Arredondo will continue over the next couple days with students planning on wearing black on Monday and white on Tuesday to school in their memory.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by santiago Location: Albuquerque,New Mexico on Apr 20, 2012 at 09:56 AM
    Thank you Janie 4 your comment on don,these two BEAUTIFUL ANGELS will ALWAYS be in my HEART and PRAYERS!!!
  • by A Salinas Location: Belvidere on Mar 18, 2012 at 07:59 AM
    It's been almost a month since this terrible accident, everyone got back to their routine, but this is always on my mind. To the Gutierrez & Arredondo fam I wish God has given you strength & conformity to go on. God Bless you and RIP Thalia & Brenda!!
  • by Brianna on Feb 28, 2012 at 07:58 PM
    R.I.P two beautiful angels. you'll be missed. it's sad something like this has to happen to bring a community together. <3
  • by elisabeth g Location: rolling meadowd on Feb 27, 2012 at 06:51 PM
    my prayers goes to these two family no family shohld ever have to go thru this but we just have to always remember that they no preset in this world with us but they do stay now tommorow and always in our hearts in memories remember all da good times. their smile it will never desappered from no ine R.I.P BRENDA AND THALIA LOVE ALWAYS AND FOREVER GONE BUT NOT FORGET
  • by Kelly Location: Mt. Morris on Feb 27, 2012 at 09:05 AM
    What a wonderful community to show such love and support to these two girls and their families. I can't imagine how difficult this must be to deal with.
  • by Rob Location: Rockford on Feb 27, 2012 at 06:47 AM
    Don, question, are you that un-caring or are you just a huge idiot? There is not a single thing a police officer could've have done to prevent this accident. Well, unless they had some super secret heat ray that would have melted all snow and ice off the road as well as cancel all wind. Seriously? There's a school and community mourning two wonderful lives who were taken much, much too early and you have to come on here and post crap like that. No, the biggest waste of money seems to be providing you with access to a computer.
  • by AIDA on Feb 27, 2012 at 06:12 AM
    May god bless these two beautiful young ladies and welcome them into Heaven. My prayers are with them, their greiving families, friends, the school and the community. I didn't know them personally, but our community is bonded as family by this tragedy. God obviously needed two more smiling angels in Heaven.
  • by Rich on Feb 27, 2012 at 05:38 AM
    Seriously Don? It was an accident! No amount of cops could have changed this. Some people are just so... I wont say it...
  • by don on Feb 26, 2012 at 09:39 PM
    these kind of things could be avoided if a cop would do their job instead of parking along a road and harrassing motorist. illinois cops are the biggest waste of taxpayer money the state has to offer
    • reply
      by Rob on Feb 27, 2012 at 10:33 AM in reply to don
      The comment by 'don' is made by someone with no knowledge of the situation who blindly felt this was the forum to air his dislike of the police. There's nothing a police car at that spot could have done to prevent this from happening, and anyone with even an ounce of intelligence would realize that. Please take your idiocy elsewhere. Two girls were taken much, much too soon, and comments like this do nothing except inflate your ego and give you an imaginary sense of worth.
    • reply
      by Janie on Mar 4, 2012 at 06:57 PM in reply to don
      don, don, don, wow..where do I began. This is about two girls, so show the family some respect, you yankee moron..
  • by Ken Location: Belvidere on Feb 26, 2012 at 09:35 PM
    May God bless Alyssa and Danielle for doing this. They were so strong tonight when they held back their tears and gave interviews to 3 TV stations and showed how much Brenda and Thalia were loved. More than 8 thousand people have agreed to wear black to work or school tomorrow as a gesture of love and support for their families. I hope you all join us by wearing black as well.
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