‘Beautiful, gentle soul’: Second victim in fatal NJ school bus crash identified as 10-year-old girl

PARAMUS, N.J. — A 10-year-old girl has been identified as the second victim who died when the school bus she was on collided with a dump truck on Route 80 on Thursday.

Miranda Vargas is described by her family on a GoFundMe page as a “beautiful, gentle soul.”

The fifth grader at East Brook Middle School, was on a class field trip to Waterloo Village, when the school bus overturned and was ripped apart, landing on an interstate’s center median, after colliding with a dump truck, officials said.

Sources tell PIX11 they’re investigating as to whether or not the bus driver was making an illegal U-turn on the highway.

Forty-five people, including 38 students, were on the bus at the time. Forty-three people from the bus and the truck driver were hospitalized, some in critical condition.

Miranda, who has a twin sister, is the daughter of Joevanny and Lorena Vargas, according to Marrocco Memorial Chapel.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover her funeral costs.

God bless you all, family and friends. It is with heavy hearts that we share on May 17th, Our little princess, was taken from us in a tragic school bus accident on her way to Waterloo Village for a class field trip. We are devastated that our Baby’s life here with us is over, but we will always carry her legacy with us forever. She was a beautiful, gentle soul with a passionate love for her family. She leaves behind her mother and father, her twin sister, her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, her cousins, and her friends. Her smile was contagious and that is how we will forever remember her.

As the family prepares for her services and will be taking some time to mourn the loss of their beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend, we ask you to consider contributing to the family. We appreciate your prayers, calls, messages, visits, and ongoing support more than anything.

The teacher killed in the crash was 51-year-old Jennifer Williamson.

The bus driver’s name has not yet been publicly released. The investigation into to incident is ongoing.

All scheduled field trips at East Brook Middle School have been canceled for the rest of the year.