Fatal car fire

Leflore County deputies seal off the area around a burned-out car Friday morning on Hickory Street. A toddler, identified as  Lakesha Whitehead, died in the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

A vehicle fire Friday morning claimed the life of a 1-year-old girl.

Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks said the youngster was identified as Lakesha Whitehead.

The child was declared dead on the scene by Leflore County Deputy Coroner Will Gnemi shortly after 10:15 a.m.

According to incident reports, the child was one of four children in a car driven by the girl’s mother, Ashley Terry.

Terry parked the vehicle, identified as a Ford Crown Victoria, outside a home at 407 Hickory St. The sheriff said Terry left the car running while she went into the residence briefly.

Once she was inside, Terry’s other children rushed to the door and told her the car was on fire, he said. Lakesha was trapped inside the vehicle, Banks said.

Initially, the child was seated on the front passenger seat, but apparently she had moved to the back seat before collapsing, the sheriff said.

Banks said the fire appears to have been an accident.

He said the state fire marshal and the county fire marshal  were investigating.

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