Choctaw family devastated in Miss. SUV wreck

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. — Funerals will be held this week for five young siblings and an adult who died when a sport utility vehicle driven by the children’s father careened off an eastern Mississippi road and into a creek.

All of the victims of Saturday’s crash near Philadelphia were members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and lived in the Pearl River community.

Tribe spokeswoman Misty Dreifuss said a funeral for the children, who ranged in age from 18 months to 9 years old, will be held Wednesday at a tribal building in Choctaw. A wake for the siblings was planned for Monday, she said.

A funeral for Dianne Chickaway, a 38-year-old friend of the children’s family, will be held Thursday at Hopewell Baptist Church in Leake County, according to Dreifuss.

“It has hit the community very hard,” Dreifuss said of the 10,000-member tribe.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, and no charges were immediately filed. A crash reconstruction team from the Mississippi Highway Patrol was to visit the scene Sunday.

Neshoba County Sheriff Tommy Waddell said the victims apparently drowned after their Dodge Durango left a country road and plunged into a rain-swollen creek 20 miles southeast of Philadelphia.

Waddell said the children’s father, Duane John, remained hospitalized Sunday. Their mother, Deanna Jim, and Chickaway’s husband, Dale Chickaway, also survived.

The children who died were identified as 9-year-old Daisyanna John; 8-year-old Duane John; 7-year-old Bobby John; 4-year-old Quinton John; and 18-month-old Kekambas John.

Waddell said it appeared that none of the children was in a child restraint, and that none of the adults was wearing a seat belt.

Dreifuss said four of the five children attended Pearl River Elementary School.

More in Local News

District takes steps to secure school campuses

Safety measures have been enhanced at Hawthorne and Silver Firs elementary schools in Everett.

Local police join thousands honoring slain Canadian officer

Abbotsford Const. John Davidson was killed Nov. 6 in a shootout with a suspected car thief.

Hard work is paying off for Mariner High senior

Mey Ly has excelled in school since moving here from Cambodia; she also serves as an intrepreter.

1 arrested after SWAT team moves in on Marysville house

The incident was connected to an earlier robbery.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

No easy exit from Smokey Point shopping complex

There’s just no easy exit on this one. A reader called in… Continue reading

County Council upholds ban on safe heroin injection sites

At Monday’s public hearing, more than 15 people spoke in support of the ban. No one spoke against it.

Lynnwood, Marysville, Sultan consider ban on safe injection sites

If approved, they would join Lake Stevens and Snohomish County, which have temporary bans.

Most Read