HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB)– The football field is lined with family members, friends, family, and community members, all donning purple, carrying lit candles, to commemorate the lives of Brian Callahan and Moira Murphy, who were high school sweethearts. “Moira was amazing, her smile, her red, or orange hair, she was just the life of the party. Brian also. They were great, a ball of energy, everywhere they went,” shared close friend Linny Son.
Bright lanterns floating into the night sky were released after a walk around the track.
It celebrated the lives of Moira Murphy and Brian Callhan, who graduated from Holyoke High in 2008, who were killed in a hit-and-run car accident last week. “I was the senior class president of the class of 2008, and me and a couple other class officers decided to do this, so we just kind of pulled together some of our class and started planning,” Brittany Rodriguez said. “I’m glad to see all my classmates from 2008, but not under these circumstances, but, it’s amazing everybody’s here,” added Son.
Even in the midst of tragedy, it still meant the world to friends seeing the community pull together. “It just goes to show how close our class and community can be,” noted Rodriguez. “They’re going to be with us every day. They’re watching over us, so, just think of the memories with them, a lot of us are still in shock, it’s going to take a while, but, we’ll get through it. This whole community, we’ll get through this,” Son said.
Friends say Moira was known for her Irish pride. In fact, she was the one who made the St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts for everyone at her job at the Dam Cafe. She hoped to one day open her own catering business.
Last week, the suspect in the hit and run, 21-year-old Jonathan Lopez pleaded not guilty to several charges in Holyoke District Court, including leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
His bail has been set at $40,000.
He will be in court again for a pretrial on October 10th.