Jet ski crash victim Katie Yale's funeral draws hundreds

7:52 PM, Sep 7, 2013   |    comments
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  • Katie Yale was killed over Labor Day weekend when an inner tube she was riding on was struck by a personal watercraft.



ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- There was standing room only inside the Park Street Baptist Church on Saturday afternoon for 15-year-old Katie Yale's funeral.

Yale died on Tuesday from injuries she suffered on Monday from an inner-tubing crash on Labor Day.

A jet skier collided with Yale on the inner-tube. Katie's father, Doug Yale, spoke at his daughter's funeral.

"Many people have asked me how am I handing this?" said Doug Yale, standing at the lectern in front of hundreds of church and school friends of his daughters. 

He said he will find peace knowing that his daughter was taken by God to bring other people closer to God. According to one of Katie's friends, that message is clear to her.

"Katie's confidence in her faith has made me have a stronger faith in God," said Kenna McFall.

McFall became closer to Katie in the last couple months even though they knew each other since kindergarten.

"We went to driver's ed together this summer. I think she was more excited about it than me," said McFall.

Katie's uncle, Kenney, and aunt, Holly Yale, are struggling with why God took her from them so soon.

"We just don't understand," said Kenney Yale. "Why, the pastors have said it. We all just don't know why God chose our Katie at that moment."

He said he takes comfort knowing Katie trusted God since a young age.

"She wanted to be saved when she was 3-years-old.  Everything was just in God's action, his plan, and we will never understand it until we are there with Him and He says, 'Now you understand.'"

Both Kenney and his brother, Katie's father Doug, are together knowing Katie is celebrating with God now.

The family asks that instead of flowers, people donate to the Katie Yale Scholarship Fund, which will go toward students at her school, Keswick Christian School. 

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