Hundreds Mourn Death of 5 Children in Bowie Car Crash

Hundreds of friends and family gathered Saturday for the funeral of five children who died in a car crash in Bowie, Maryland, on Feb. 2. 

The children were as young as 5 and as old as 15 when they were killed in a single-car crash on a snowy roadside on Route 301. Sisters London Dixon, 8, and Paris Dixon, 5 were killed along with their cousins, Zion Beard, 14, Rickelle Ricks, 6, and Damari Herald, 15.

"This is not an easy task, but we come to celebrate these lives," a preacher said during the service. 

Family members and friends memorialized the children at the funeral in Upper Marlboro by speaking about their time with the kids and their love for them. Some showed personal photos of the children. 

"When I would gaze into her eyes, I saw a little girl whose eyes were filled with unending joy and love," Richard Ricks Sr. said during the service. He was 6-year-old Rickelle Ricks' grandfather.

Robert Harold Jr., uncle to Zion Beard and Damari Rickelle, said he learned and grew as a person because of the children. 

"Everything about the way they were taught me so much about myself that I would've never learned any other where," Harold said.  

Leslie Boone, who taught London and Paris at Northview Elementary in Bowie, spoke about the kindness the two girls had. 

"London and Paris were affectionate and loved to give hugs, often waiting patiently until we were finished," Boone said.

"The minute them babies ... that thing, happened, Jesus grabbed every one of them babies and brought them in," one mourner said at the service. 

An online campaign created by the father of one of the victims raised more than $27,000 in funds for the funeral. 

Correction (Sunday, Feb. 17 at 7:28 a.m.): An earlier version of this story misidentified the road where the crash occurred. It was Route 301. We regret the error.

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