HARRISON, Ohio -- Faith, family and friendship defined the short life of Kayla Duerler, a 16-year-old Harrison High School student who died Wednesday afternoon in a wreck on Reily Millville Road.
"It’s unique to see a young lady at her age to have such a passionate and deep heart," Doug Goodman, an associate pastor at LifeSpring Christian Church, said at a Thursday night vigil. "We’re just very grateful for the time we’ve had with her, and we’re mourning her loss."
Goodman described Duerler, who attended LifeSpring, as intelligent and fond of reading, with a soft-spoken demeanor that belied her strong religious and moral convictions. She was well-loved by her friends in Harrison High School’s marching band, where she had recently been promoted to drum major.
As her community mourned her Thursday night, Goodman said it was easy to see how her quiet convictions and caring heart had impacted the people around her.
"(I’ve heard) story after story of connections being made between students, young people, people in the community who have been inspired by her," he said. "The community just lost a wonderful child of the Lord."
Duerler died from traumatic injuries, according to a preliminary report released Friday by the Butler County Coroner's Office. She died just before 1 p.m.
Duerler's services will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Harrison High School Activity Center.