BOWIE, Md. (WJZ) — Teachers at Public Charter School said it was a hard day Monday at school knowing there are now two empty seats in their classrooms for two of the students killed in the crash.
Monday night, students and faculty gathered outside with prayers to remember their young friends. Outside in the school’s playground, dozens of them lit candles and said prayers- honoring 14-year-old Zion Beard and his six-year-old sister Rickelle Ricks.
Parents stood close by for support.
“I think it is important that they can celebrate the lives of their friends and classmates cause you know it does stick with you,” said Maxine Robinson, President of Parent Advisory Council.
Robinson said the students put together Monday night’s vigil on their own to remember the friends they shared a classroom with just last week.
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“They love this kid and they’re his friend and he’s part of this community and he’s going to be missed,” Robinson said.
The three siblings, Zion, 15-year-old Damari Herald, and Rickelle, their sister, died in the crash- along with their eight and five-year-old cousins London and Paris Dixon.
“She was the happiest baby you’ve ever met and that’s all I’m going to say,” said Rickelle’s grandmother Stephanie Lloyd.
Lloyd is left without words. Police said the driver, 32-year-old Dominc Taylor drove off the road and hit several trees.
Taylor was the mother to London and Paris and survived the crash, along with 23-year-old Cornell Simon in the passenger’s seat.
Police say the children were not properly restrained and all five of them were ejected.
Now their families are left heartbroken, and the school said they plan on honoring the students again tomorrow. They also said they are bringing in support groups for the students to help them deal with grieving.