Family and friends remember Tamari "TJ" Watkins at funeral
A Yonkers community is remembering Tamari Watkins, one of four teens who died last week in one of the worst crashes in Westchester history.
Friends and family came out to Sinatra Funeral Home to mourn the death of the 18-year-old on Thursday morning.
"TJ's looking down, and he's protecting us, and he's looking over us and keeping me strong," says Darlene Reynolds, Watkins' mother. "I'm hurting, we're all hurting, but I can't say that I'm hurting more than his friends are."
Watkins, known as "TJ" to most, was among four who was killed by a speeding driver. All four graduated this past spring -- three from Saunders High School and the other from Riverside.
MORE: These young men were beloved students.' 5 people, including 4 teens, killed in two-car Yonkers crash
The funeral home was packed as the community came together to honor the young man who they say had so much potential. He wanted to be a musician and loved his friends.
“In southwest Yonkers, it's not always considered the glamorous community or neighborhood, and some of the kids are a little bit rough and tough—but he was an exception. He was a kid that was really sincere. He had a warm heart,” recalls London Reyes, Watkins' basketball coach.
Reyes further explained his remorse, saying in part, “I just feel for his family and all his friends, our condolences and our love, and it's just a sad, sad day.”
Watkins' GoFundMe raised nearly $27,800, with over 600 people donating to help his family.