Marksville community holds candlelight vigil for crash victims and their families


Courtesy: Lester Duhé (KLFY)

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night in Marksville to honor the 5 local children killed in a fiery wreck in Florida last week.

Community members, along with various Priests and Pastors came together in prayer, for healing in their community.

The crash happened when a Northbound tractor trailer hit another car, and went through the center guard rail near Gainesville.

The truck and car then collided with another tractor trailer and the van, carrying 9 children and 3 women from the Avoyelles House of Mercy Church.

The church members were heading to Disney World, and were only about an hour away from the theme park.

5 children were killed and 7 people from the van were injured.

The 2 truck drivers were also killed.

Those 5 children include, Joel Cloud, 14, Jeremiah Warren, 14, Cara Descant, 13, Briena Descant, 10, and Cierra Bordelan, 9.

The vigil was held at Warren Douglas Memorial Stadium.

Some individuals that News 10 spoke with , said this is one of the worst tragedies they’ve ever seen in this community.

As hundreds filled the Marksville High Stadium, to honor the 5 lives lost in last week’s fiery accident.

With prayers lifted…

“We know that together in Christ, we become strong. And we’re able to shine light that scatters the darkness,” said a local priest.

Candles lighting up the night sky…

“To this community and the leaders of this community, let angels come and administer to them,” said a local pastor.

And a balloon release for all 5 of the children, residents from Avoyelles Parish came together in prayer, to try and put the pieces of their broken community back together.

“Everyone knew 1 of them, 2 of them, 3 of them. We’re just all connected so it’s huge, a huge loss for all of us,” said Rebecca McGovern, with the Marksville Chamber of Commerce.

Most people trying their best to hold back tears, with the loss of the children lingering in their hearts.

“This whole community has came together for these families. We feel like we’re all family, and it hurts us for these kids, and the families of these children,” said Kimberly Bordelon, an Avoyelles Parish resident.

“Our hearts are broken and we’re just praying that God will continue to heal, console and strengthen the families as they heal,” said Rosalie PIerite, a resident.

The small community rallying behind the families who now have to bury their children, as their lives will never be the same.

“To rally behind them, and to help them through. There’s going to be tough days coming up, there’s going to be tough months, tough years, and we’re going to be there all the way with them,” said McGovern.

The local priests and pastors who spoke at the event said they’re hopeful that the community will continue their prayers, as it will be a long road to recovery.

Funeral arrangements for the 5 victims, are still pending.

If you want to donate to the families of victims of this tragedy — the Louisiana District UPCI has set up a fund for monetary donations.

100% of the money will be given to the Marksville Church and affected families.

None of the donated funds will remain in the Louisiana District Office.

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