2 dead in bus crash recalled as ‘beloved,’ ‘beautiful’


Associated Press

BELLEVILLE, N.J.

The parent-teacher association of the New Jersey middle school where a student and teacher were killed when a school bus collided with a dump truck called the two “beautiful” and “beloved” Saturday.

Fifth-grader Miranda Vargas, 10, and Jennifer Williamson, 51, were killed in the Thursday morning crash that also injured more than 40 other people.

“It is so difficult to put into words the sorrow that is felt over the tragic loss of our beautiful student Miranda Vargas and our beloved teacher Mrs. Williamson,” the East Brook Middle School PTA said on its Facebook page. “As we mourn the tragic loss of these beautiful angels, we continuously pray for the students and teachers who remain in the hospital and those who are dealing with their injuries and scars both physically and emotionally.”

On a GoFundMe page, the child’s family called her “a beautiful, gentle soul with a passionate love for her family.” Her funeral is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday in Marrocco Memorial Chapel in Clifton.

A funeral Mass for Williamson, whose obituary notes that she “taught in the same grade and same classroom in East Brook Middle School for 20 years,” is scheduled at 10 a.m. Thursday at Our Lady of the Visitation R.C. Church in Paramus.

Parent Mark Deegan called Williamson “a great teacher and a great human being,” saying in a message that his son Shane was in her class last year and his daughter Nicole had “great memories” from her class seven years ago. She called Williamson “a very optimistic, sweet and loving person” who would bring things she bought in yard sales for students and was “always friendly and supportive.”

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