[JPL] Condolences to Kenny Werner

Steve Schwartz steve_schwartz at wgbh.org
Fri Oct 6 09:21:43 EDT 2006

South Fallsburg girl dies after car hits tree

By Heather Yakin
October 04, 2006

Times Herald-Record

South Fallsburg ‹ Katheryn Werner was a dynamo, a joy and an inspiration to
everyone around her.

At 16, she was a photographer, a musician and a straight-A student. She
feared nothing.

"She was very, very bright. She was actually going to graduate a year and a
half early, and she was going to take a year off to do community service and
then go to NYU," said Tammy Pratt, a family friend.

About 5 p.m. Monday, Katheryn "Kat" Werner was heading from karate practice
in Mountaindale to her family's home in South Fallsburg when her 1995 Volvo
850 rounded a 90-degree curve on River Road and she lost control. The car
hit a tree and caught fire. Some men who'd been fishing in the Neversink
River just below the road heard the crash and called for help.

Rescuers couldn't free Katheryn from the car. She was pronounced dead at the
scene, the latest in a stream of young drivers killed in car accidents.

Fallsburg police Chief Angel Lamboy said it appears that Katheryn, who had a
valid junior license, was going too fast for the road and for her level of
driving experience. "It wasn't a fender-bender." Lamboy said. "It was quite
the impact."

An autopsy will be done later today to determine the cause of Katheryn's

Yesterday, 15-year-old Jena Berman came to a makeshift memorial, adding a
handful of wildflowers to the bouquets at the base of the tree.

"I can't believe this. Oh, my God," she said, searching for words. "There
was something about her. She was very open to anyone she'd meet. You
wouldn't feel afraid to tell her anything."

Friends gathered at Katheryn's home to remember her life and to comfort her
parents, Lorraine and Kenny Werner.

"We've been getting lots and lots of calls," Lorraine Werner said. "We had
no idea how many people she had connected with."

The family moved here from New Jersey three years ago. Katheryn was
home-schooled; the Fallsburg district oversaw the program. Yesterday, the
district called in a crisis team to offer counseling to the students.

Lauren Pratt, 17, and Emily Grigsby, 16, were home-schooled with Katheryn
for a year.

"She played guitar and piano. She sang," said Lauren. Katheryn had put
together a photo portfolio to submit to the Aroma Thyme restaurant in
Ellenville, hoping for an exhibition. Emily and Lauren plan to submit the
portfolio for her. Katheryn had raised and trained a seeing-eye dog for a
group that helps blind people get service dogs. She traveled the world with
her father, a well-known jazz pianist.

"They've got to go easy with the cars," Lorraine Werner said. "There's a lot
of time. Go easy."

A memorial service is planned for 6-9 p.m. tomorrow at the Colonial Memorial
Funeral Home, Main Street, Woodbourne. Donations may be made in Katheryn's
memory to the Prasad Project, 465 Brickman Road, Hurleyville, NY 12747.
Please put Katheryn's name on the check's memo line.

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