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5 Children Die in Wreck, May Have Drowned

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By Brittney R. Villalva, Christian Post Reporter
December 30, 2012|9:55 am

Five children and one adult were killed on Saturday morning following a car crash outside of Philadelphia.

The children, aged between 18-months and 8-years-old, were riding in the car alongside their parents and two friends of the family. One family friend, Diane Chickaway, 37, also died according to the Associated Press; her husband, Dale Chickaway, was one of the survivors.

The vehicle, a Dodge Durango, was found off a country road, 20 miles Southeast of Philadelphia according to the reports. The driver and father to the children, Dewayne John, has been hospitalized for hypothermia and water inhalation. His children, 8-year-old Duane John, 7-year-old Bobby John, 4-year-old Quinton John, and 18-month-old Kekaimeas John are believed to have drowned. The children's mother, Deanna Jim, also survived the crash.

All were member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and lived in the Pearl River community, according to the AP.

The members were travelling to Conehatta, another Choctaw community. Police believe the children drowned to death in a creek that had been built up by recent rainwater in the area. No one in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt.

A number of people grieved the tragic death, including Tribal Chief Pyliss J. Anderson.

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"It's always sad to hear of the death of a tribal member, but today our tribe experienced a great tragedy with the loss of six beautiful Choctaw souls. I cannot begin to imagine what the friends, relatives and loved ones are feeling," Anderson said in a statement to the Associated Press. "There are no words that can express our sincere condolences to such a horrific accident. I join many of you in the outpouring display of love and support shown to the families during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Police said that the accident was not weather related and that the roads had been clear just after midnight, when the accident occurred. John will undergo a test to discover if he was under the influence of alcohol.

 

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