New York

Girl, 10, Killed in Horrific School Bus Crash Was Twin Fifth-Grader: Aunt, Obit

One student and one teacher died, 43 other people were injured

What to Know

  • 10-year-old Miranda Faith Vargas and 51-year-old Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy were killed in a horrific bus crash on Route 80 in NJ
  • They were among 45 people on the school bus that sources say tried to make an illegal U-turn; all the others were injured, some critically
  • The bus was carrying students from East Brook Middle School in Paramus on a field trip to historic Waterloo Village

The 10-year-old girl killed in the devastating school bus crash on Route 80 Thursday has been identified as Miranda Faith Vargas of Paramus, a twin and fifth-grade student at East Brook Middle School. 

A fundraising page set up by the girl's aunt, Carolyn Arriaga, identified her as the student who died in the bus crash, along with 51-year-old teacher Jennifer Williamson. 

"She was a beautiful, gentle soul with a passionate love for her family," Arriaga wrote, adding that Miranda leaves behind her mother and father, her twin sister, her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, her cousins and her friends. 

"Her smile was contagious and that is how we will forever remember her."

Miranda was among the 38 fifth-graders and seven adults on the bus heading to Waterloo Village as part of a field trip when it collided with a dump truck in Mount Olive, allegedly when the bus driver tried to make a sudden illegal U-turn after missing an exit, according to sources. 

All the other passengers on the bus were injured, some critically, according to officials. 

Miranda was the daughter of Joevanny and Lorena Vargas, according to an obituary published by Marrocco Memorial Chapel. 

Visitation will be held at Marrocco Memorial in Clifton Sunday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the funeral will be held Monday at 9:30 a.m.

Miranda Vargas' family declined to comment to News 4 partner The Bergen Record when reached by phone.

Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera said on Facebook that a memorial service will be held Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady Visitation on 234 N. Farview Ave.

East Brook Middle School was open Friday as the community grieved the deaths of Miranda Vargas and Jennifer Williamson, a beloved teacher. Williamson's husband, Kevin Kennedy, had released a statement saying he was "in shock, devastated and totally crushed" by the tragedy. 

Kennedy wrote that "my beautiful bride and I have been in total love every day of our lives since the day our eyes met on May 5th, 1994."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us