Separate accidents claim lives

Friday, April 13, 2007
Lavone Lamoreaux, right, and his brother Javone.

Child succumbs to lack of

oxygen after pool accident

Miranda Lamoreaux has made the toughest decision of her life - to have her child taken off of life support.

Yet the Chapel Hill woman summoned inner strength on Wednesday to talk publicly about the chain of events that led to such a difficult decision on Tuesday afternoon.

Miranda's twin 3-year-old boys, Javone and Lavone, were playing outside Friday afternoon as active youngsters will, but the silence was broken by Javone's cries to help his brother, she said. During the short time the boys were left alone, they managed to climb up the water pump to the above ground swimming pool in the backyard.

"They had been sick for days with the flu and got better Friday," Miranda said. "We always let them play outside and would peek out to check on them."

The boys had never tried to climb up to the pool, and the entry gate to gain entry to the deck has always been locked, the shaken mother said.

But Lavon ended up in the swimming pool.

"Never turn your back for even a second," Miranda said. "Keep your kids close at all times because it's all you have."

Eric Armstrong, the twins' father, rushed to save Lavone. The child's family and neighbors administered CPR until Marshall County Emergency Management Services arrived.

Upon arrival at the Marshall Medical Center, Lavone was in cardiac arrest and placed on life support devices until the helicopter ambulance arrived.

At Vanderbilt Medical Center, Lavone was placed on numerous medications and life support devices, but nothing could reverse Lavone's low brain activity since he was deprived of oxygen too long.

Vanderbilt doctors explained to Miranda that after three minutes of no oxygen to the brain, a child's brain will die.

Family and friends quickly gathered at Vanderbilt offering support and condolences.

"When I took Javone to see his brother at the hospital he just stared and leaned his head on me," Miranda said. "He said that brother had a boo-boo and that brother was sick. He kept on saying, 'Brother is in the pool.'"

When the decision was made that Lavone would have no quality of life and should be taken off of life support, loved ones surrounded Lavone, but Miranda could not bear to be there for the death of her toddler son.

"I was more the rock before, but Eric is now," Miranda said. "I just couldn't watch."

Miranda now faces the heartache of explaining to her 3-year-old son that his twin brother will not be coming home.

"I don't know how to start to tell him," she said. "We're trying not to cry too much in front of him, but he is a twin, so I think he knows."

Through her pain, Miranda managed to reminisce about the fun times she spent with Lavone.

"He beat up his brother all the time, loved to wrestle with his dad, and do karate moves," Miranda said. "Lavone was curious and always on the go."

"Looking at Javone will be a little comforting, seeing Lavone's face in him," the mother of twins said.

Miranda said she plans to attend counseling with Javone, but nothing can fully mend her broken heart.

"I love him, and I'm going to miss him very much," Miranda said. "My thoughts are always with him."

Visitation for Lavone Lamoreaux will be 3-4 this afternoon for family, and 4-8 p.m. for family and friends at Lawrence Funeral Home in Chapel Hill. The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Smyrna Baptist Church in Chapel Hill.

Lavone Lamoreaux is survived by his mother, Miranda Lamoreaux, father, Eric Armstrong, brothers Javone Lamoreaux, Tyler Armstrong, and Cortez Banks.

Kailey-Ann Gail Burgess

Lewisburg girl killed in traffic

By Kristina Grossheim

Staff Writer

A Lewisburg child was hit by a truck and died at the intersection of Fayetteville Highway and Armory Drive on Wednesday evening.

Kailey Burgess, 7, was running across the intersection at about 6:30 p.m., Lewisburg Police Chief Doug Alexander said Thursday. The name of the driver of the tractor-trailer truck was not immediately available from Alexander.

The child's father, Jason Burgess, 914 East Commerce St., said Kailey was hit by a Fed-Ex truck while she was running home. She was crossing the street after playing with neighbors.

"She landed 100 yards from where the truck hit her," Jason Burgess said. "I knew she was gone."

Kailey "was usually good about not running across the street," the father said. This time, "she didn't get her timing right," he said.

Since the accident, the father said, "Everyone has been supportive. The principal, people from the church, everyone, has come over."

Kailey was a first grade student at Marshall Elementary School and attended Hickory Heights Church of Christ.

He accident occurred before she was to go to church on Wednesday evening.

"She was a perfect angel," he said. "Everybody loved her."

She is survived by four siblings.

London Funeral home is in charge of arrangements.