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Calhoun County coroner identifies child killed in bus stop collision

Updated - The coroner has identified the child who died Wednesday. Name corrected to Valeria.

Posted: Dec 9, 2020 3:33 PM
Updated: Dec 10, 2020 2:04 PM

VARDAMAN, Miss. (WTVA) — A truck driver is charged with manslaughter after his 18-wheeler ran over two children at a school bus stop in Vardaman, killing one of them.

Law enforcement identified the driver as James Thomas Murphy, 70, of Vaiden.

Scene of the accident in Vardaman on Dec. 9, 2020.

Scene of the accident in Vardaman on Dec. 9, 2020.

James Thomas Murphy

Vardaman Police Chief Kenneth Scott said the big rig hauling lumber struck the children at the stop on Highway 8 at Hill Street.

One student died at the site of the accident.  A medical helicopter flew the other child to a hospital for treatment.

Calhoun County Coroner Salena Westmoreland later identified the deceased victim as Valeria Montero, 7.

WTVA is working to receive an update on the second child.

Calhoun County Superintendent of Education Lisa Langford said the students attended Vardaman Elementary and it is her understanding they were crossing the highway when the 18-wheeler hit them.

According to Langford, counselors will be at the school Thursday morning.

Here is the statement from Calhoun County Superintendent of Education Lisa Langford:

It is with the deepest regret that the Calhoun County School District must confirm that an accident has taken place this afternoon, December 9, 2020, involving two Vardaman Elementary School students who were disembarking from their school bus. The accident is still under investigation by the Mississippi Highway Patrol, but it is our understanding that the bus was stopped and the children were struck as they crossed the highway. One child has been pronounced dead at the scene and another has been airlifted to the hospital with unknown injuries. No other students or personnel were injured in the accident. The condition of the truck driver is unknown at this time. The District has and will continue to work with the local law enforcement, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and other agencies to assess the incident and determine the appropriate next steps. We would like to thank the police officers and first responders from the area who arrived so quickly to offer assistance.

The District would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family, community, students, and staff of the Vardaman Schools. We understand the emotional impact this can have on all parties involved and counselors will be available at the school in the morning to address any needs. In addition, translators will be on site to assist with the needs of our Hispanic students. Vardaman is an extremely close-knit community, and we know they will come together to support and comfort one another through this terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with them during this time.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308111

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20826248
Hinds19910411
Harrison17510302
Rankin13334276
Jackson13118243
Madison9908210
Lee9871170
Jones8297160
Forrest7525147
Lauderdale7198237
Lowndes6272144
Lamar611084
Lafayette6039117
Washington5281133
Bolivar4772129
Oktibbeha455897
Panola4445103
Pearl River4428141
Warren4284118
Marshall4276100
Pontotoc416972
Monroe4061132
Union403975
Neshoba3994176
Lincoln3871109
Hancock372885
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329589
Tate322782
Pike3188104
Scott310872
Yazoo304468
Alcorn298065
Itawamba297177
Copiah293265
Coahoma289778
Simpson288284
Tippah284868
Prentiss275759
Marion266079
Leake261373
Wayne261341
Grenada255384
Covington254780
Adams246082
Newton245161
George238147
Winston225981
Tishomingo222267
Jasper219748
Attala213473
Chickasaw205057
Holmes186872
Clay182854
Stone179331
Clarke177076
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163531
Yalobusha159236
Smith158834
Walthall130643
Greene129433
Lawrence126423
Noxubee126233
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120926
Amite120141
Webster113532
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102725
Claiborne101330
Benton97325
Kemper95428
Humphreys94332
Franklin82123
Quitman78916
Choctaw73417
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 520503

Reported Deaths: 10722
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754091487
Mobile38938798
Madison33898495
Tuscaloosa25297443
Montgomery23992567
Shelby23124239
Baldwin20652300
Lee15541165
Calhoun14301311
Morgan14145270
Etowah13665346
Marshall11967219
Houston10381278
Elmore10001200
Limestone9822147
Cullman9481188
St. Clair9435234
Lauderdale9223227
DeKalb8748181
Talladega8071171
Walker7100275
Jackson6762110
Autauga6734103
Blount6497135
Colbert6210130
Coffee5404112
Dale4766110
Russell429038
Franklin419982
Chilton4087109
Covington4056114
Tallapoosa3898146
Escambia388574
Dallas3531149
Chambers3503122
Clarke346560
Marion3066100
Pike305876
Lawrence295395
Winston272572
Bibb256459
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens233059
Barbour225255
Hale218775
Butler212566
Fayette209260
Henry187744
Cherokee182144
Randolph176941
Monroe172040
Washington164238
Macon154848
Clay149555
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146241
Lamar139334
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109128
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene91034
Choctaw58724
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Isolated showers will linger in our area for the overnight hours. While, most of our Thursday will be on the dry side. More showers are in the weather forecast by Friday evening and into our Saturday morning. Beyond that, unseasonably cool temperatures are the rule.
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