Fairmount (WSYR-TV) -- A Baldwinsville mother is dead and her daughter is in serious condition after a car crash in Western New York on Sunday.
The crash happened on Route 20 in Darien. Police say a distracted driver was trying to swerve around a turning car when he hit another car head-on. 55-year-old Audrey Gleason was in the car that was hit. She was killed and her daughter is in serious condition at the hospital.
Gleason worked for the Baldwinsville School District. Friends gathered to honor her memory Monday night at Holy Family Church in Fairmount.
With rosary beads in hand and heavy hearts, parishioners paid respect to a woman who dedicated her life to mentoring generations of young people.
"We started just inviting our youth group, our teens, just giving them a place to turn to, and all of a sudden we turn around and hundreds of people showed up tonight in support of this family. It's not really a surprise,” said Faith Formation Director Emily Wood.
The surprise came Sunday when a car crash claimed the life of a beloved member of the church family -- Audrey Gleason.
"Something pulled me to come here and I really think God wanted me to be here, to come here and to respect her because she really was a wonderful woman and her life should be respected and honored,” said Maria Fruscello who mentored Gleason.
Audrey Gleason was a mother of four, a bus driver and a job coach. She helped create a program at her church to improve the lives of teenagers. Ten years later, “Life Teen” is running strong, despite the sudden loss of a core leader.
"Knowing Audrey and everything that she has done and touched so many lives, if all the people she touched came, the church would be more than full,” said Deacon Mick Alvaro.
With prayers and notes of love, the final tribute to a mentor was a show of support for her survivors, who stood in line to sign cards for the Gleason family.
"For the 50-some odd years that she was alive, she made an incredible difference in the world and who is to say how long each of us have? But, the time that she had, she spent wisely,” said Youth Ministry Group Mentor Bob Fangio.
Friends say Kelly Gleason was scheduled to undergo surgery at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo where she was taken by Mercy Flight after the crash.