Candlelight vigil for four fatal crash victims
Tonight a community came together for a vigil in West Side Park in Gulfport to remember the three children who lost their lives and one other who suffered serious injuries during a fatal car accident in Pearl River County last Saturday.
Jantail Thomas, friend of Julisha Poole’s family, said “I instantly started crying when I got the knock on my door. It broke me down. I took off running to my neighbor’s house and said “girl this is not true.’”
Four families and a whole community were left hurting and in disbelief after the fatal head-on collision that killed 46-year-old Phenicia Chambers, 11-year-old Sa’Mya Magee, five-year-old Bryson Poole, and 11-year-old Me’Ori Le’Gier. Julisha Poole, the driver of the vehicle and the mother of two of the deceased children, as well as 12-year-old Vakhia Abrams were also severely injured in the accident. Wanda Bridges, the survivor’s grandmother, said, “I’m still hurting for the other families because we were just like a big family. We all knew each other. These kids have been growing up together.”
Pink, blue, and purple balloons were held throughout the vigil to honor the children’s lives and their favorite colors. “I got the colors from their family members. They said Bryson’s was blue, his sister Sa’Mya was pink, Me’Ori was blue, and Vakhia was purple,” said Thomas.
Aside from providing the families with the balloons, Thomas will also split the donations made at the vigil between the four families to help with funeral costs and Abrams recovery. “Anyone who has ever crossed any of those three children’s paths knows they’re good kids. They’re loving children,” said Bridges.
Family members of the four victims say they want the children to be remembered. Me’Ori’s godmother, Renee Benoit Sherman, says she hopes to raise awareness about seat belt safety in order to help prevent another tragedy. “We want her life to be celebrated. We want something to come from the loss of her life.”