• Carey Meitzler

Update: Identity of victims in last Friday's accident on Hwy 53 released


Pearl River County Coroner Derek has released the names of those involved in the head-on collision in the Savannah community that occurred around midnight Friday on Highway 53. The accident caused four fatalities including three children under the age of twelve and an adult.

Phenicia Chambers, age 46, and her grandchildren died of their injuries at the scene.

Turnage identified the children as 11-year-olds Sa’Mya Magee and Me’Ori Sanjaya Le’Gier, and 5-year-old Bryson Poole. Their hometowns were not immediately available. They had been visiting with family in Poplarville and they were passengers when the crash occurred about 10 miles south of Poplarville, Turnage said.

On Monday, new information on the crash was released by the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Initially, authorities thought the collision occurred when a 2015 Chevrolet Sonic, driven by Julisha Poole, age 30, of Gulfport was northbound on Mississippi 53 near Savannah Millard Road about 12:30 a.m. when her car crossed over the center line of the highway.

After further investigation, authorities now believe a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Tara Cox, age 39, of Perkinston, was northbound when it crossed over the center line and crashed head-on with the with Sonic, MHP spokesman Chase Elkins said Monday. Cox was wearing a seat belt. She was transported to Forrest General Hospital.

Chambers was the front seat passenger in the vehicle driven by Poole. Both Chambers and Poole were wearing seat belts, but the four children in the car were not restrained, according to Elkins.

Sa’Maya was in the right rear passenger seat, Vahkia Abrahams,age 12, was in the left rear passenger seat, and Bryson and Me’Ori were in the middle of the back seat, according to Elkins.

Poole and Vakhia were transported to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, where their injuries were considered serious.


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