St. Mary

Feb 17, 2014 11:46 PM by Steven Albritton

Vigil Held For St. Mary Crash Victims, Funeral Account Set Up

Friends and family are remembering the woman and three children killed over the weekend in that bus crash in St. Mary Parish. Authorities say, an SUV crossed over into oncoming traffic because of a tire blowout, causing it to hit the bus head-on. Four of the five people in that vehicle were ejected and died on scene.

Monday, those who knew the victims best, including the only survivor from that vehicle, gathered to try and heal together. It was a time for prayer and healing. Front and center,17-year-old Mark Cheatham had one leg in a cast, was using crutches stand and also being held up by the community.

Angela daniel lost much of her family in the crash. Her niece, 6-year-old Destiny Cheatham, her 16-year-old nephew Marcus Cheatam, her sister LaDonna Cheatam, and her own son, 14-year-old Dwayne Escort all perished in the crash.

"They were all special. They all had their characters. They were all special characters in our life. They knew how to make everybody smile. There was never a dull moment. Never a dull moment," Daniel said.

More than 200 people came out to show their support for the family. They all want to help this family begin to put their lives back together. Many spoke and offered fond memories of the victims.

"I love him and he was a really good friend to me," one person said.

"He was at the junior high looking at his sister shoot and he was like, "I love my sister and I want to see her win this contest before I go because I love my sister," another said.

"We're here because we care about your family. We're praying for ya and were going to uphold you in prayer," another community member said.

Destiny Cheatam's kindergarten teacher was overcome with emotion.

"We're all going to miss her. I love her. I just thought I should say something about her young life and how much she touched other people," Tammy Craddock said.

Funeral arrangements are still pending at this time, but the family says they hope to have a family service. In the mean time a fund has been set up to help pay for their funeral costs. A Cheatam-Escort Benefit Account has been set up at Whitney/Hancock bank with all proceeds going toward funeral cost. Anyone wishing to donate can go to any Whitney/Hancock branch.

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