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Family, Friends Gather For Wake Of 10-Year-Old Killed In N.J. School Bus Crash

PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The community of Paramus came together on Sunday afternoon to remember Miranda Vargas.

She was one of two victims killed in last week's bus crash accident on Rt. 80 in Mount Olive.

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Student Tiana Holeviczki is recovering from a bruised eye and cuts to her head and shoulder, but she and so many others came to the 7:30 p.m. service to heal a deeper pain, a gaping hole left by the loss of East Brook Middle School teacher Jennifer Williamson and her friend, 10-year-old Vargas.

"She was very sweet. She was nice to everyone and she was always smiling and laughing," Tiana told CBS2's Lisa Rozner.

Miranda Faith Vargas
Miranda Faith Vargas (credit: Marrocco Memorial Chapel)

"The little girl who passed away actually went to my daughter's dancing school," a parent added.

Earlier a viewing was held for Miranda at the Marrocco Memorial Chapel in Clifton. Her family said she was a princess, who was always an angel.

"(She was) very outgoing. She'd challenge herself, you know, and, through any experiences in life that are positive, very teachable, very humble," said Carlos Argueyes.

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The family said Miranda was a twin, and they're leaning on their faith to shield her sister, Madison, from as much grief as they can.

"She and her sister Madison are both inquisitive young girls, religious young girls. Very close family unit. The girls ... just their whole lives were ahead of them," family attorney David Fried said.

Miranda and Williamson, 51, were on a class trip to Waterloo Village on Thursday when, sources tell CBS2, the school bus driver missed the exit and tried to make an illegal U-turn before being struck by a dump truck.

Many others who were on the bus are still recovering from their injuries. Arnie O'Callahan released a video of his son, Brendan, receiving a goalie hockey stick signed by his idol, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

"I want to be here to support my friends because most of them are in the hospital and this could have been avoided," student Jacob Arroyo said. "One is having brain surgery right now and she is in a coma. She has a 30-percent chance of living."

Authorities have not released any new information about their investigation into the crash. Miranda's funeral is set for Monday, while Williamson's will be held on Thursday.

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