A memorial vigil Tuesday night will celebrate and honor the lives of two children and a teenager killed in a crash that resulted in the arrest of the car’s driver.
The vigil will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Central Elementary School on Mississippi 26.
“You could not ask for more precious children,” George County schools Superintendent Pam Touchard said of the three students who died in the crash Saturday on Mississippi 198 just east of Depot Road. “We hate to lose them, but we know they are in God’s hands.”
Killed were first-grader Sierra Jean Dixon, 7, and fourth-grader Terra Dixon, 9, both Central students, and their brother Spencer Havard, 16, a student at George County High School.
The siblings loved to attend church and fish, their obituaries said. Spencer was such a good fisherman he was able to catch a fish by hand, the obituary said.
Since the children died, the George County School District has had grief counselors available for their classmates.
“The children are very upset,” Touchard said Tuesday. “They don’t understand, but in time God will heal all wounds.”
School officials said students who attend will receive an excused absence. The district will continue to have counselors on campus and in classrooms as needed “to help the young children overcome with grief.”
The funeral for the children will begin at noon Wednesday at Freeman Funeral Home in Leakesville, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Pipkins Cemetery.
The mother of the children, Jackie Dixon, was also in the car and suffered critical injuries. She remains at the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile.
Two other passengers, Jody Baxter, 21, and Demi Ferguson, 7, were injured but were treated at a hospital and released.
The driver, Jesse Edward Dickerson, 23, ran away after the crash but was later arrested on four counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death or serious bodily injury.
On his way into court Monday, Dickerson said he loved all of the people in the vehicle. He is being held on a $1 million bond at the Jackson County jail.
Dickerson’s brother, Chris Baxter, is serving life in prison for the July 2010 death of former George County Sheriff Garry Welford. Baxter and then-girlfriend Brandy Williams led deputies on a chase until their pickup truck struck and killed Welford.
George County School District statement
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our families, students and staff during this terrible loss. We will always remember Terra, Jean and Spencer, and the wonderful memories spent with these children. May God give you and your family the strength and courage you need in this time of grief. We will continue to offer grief counseling and prayers as their classmates heal from this terrible accident.”