Hundreds attend drive-thru funeral for first responder

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Hundreds of people attended a drive-thru funeral today to mourn the life of a well-loved emergency medical service worker.

Kayren Essenpreis received her last call Monday afternoon over the radio at J. C. Kirby & Son Lovers Lane Chapel.

Essenpreis was a paramedic for nearly three decades and served Medical Center EMS and also Butler, Logan and Ohio counties.

Monday afternoon, multiple ambulances led the parade of cars driving by the casket.

An Air Evac helicopter flew over the funeral multiple times in her honor as well.

Friends and family were only able to spend a moment with the family, a moment to be cherished.

“That time was just very precious. It was very fleeting, and it was very quick. We just kind of drove by. I gave my kisses and my waves to the family and my ‘I love you’s’ but it was just, it happened quickly and I would have of course loved to have spent more time,” said Shannon Hudnall.

Hudnall just wanted to hug the family but because of social distancing, that wasn’t an option.

“We can’t be there to just wrap them up and hug them and be with them and visit with them and to spent time with them. Everybody is grieving separately, you know, within our own homes within our own family units and that’s difficult,” said Hudnall.

Funeral home manager David Bevil was moved by the honor shown to the fallen hero.

“All those people are out there every day fighting this on the front lines and for the people to come out and show their love and support for one that has fallen, it just shows you the dedication and love that they have for this individual,” said Bevil.

Essenpreis is being buried at the Bowling Green Gardens during a private burial.