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Mother, daughter were driving to school bus stop when wreck occurred

By By Lydia Grimes and Stephanie Nelson
It was her smile — a “bright, beautiful smile” — and her ability on the softball field that people remember about 6-year-old Zoey Simmons.
Simmons, who was a first grader in Mrs. Turman’s class at Pleasant Home School, perished along with her mother, Lori Lynn Simmons, in a tragic car wreck Monday. The mother and daughter, who live on Beaver Creek Road near Wing, were traveling on Escambia County’s Middle Creek Road to the intersection of Covington County Roads 4 and 51, where Zoey caught the school bus.
Escambia County Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said officials believe Simmons lost control of the car, veered off the road and hit a tree. By the time emergency personnel arrived, the car was fully engulfed in flames.
A passerby who was first on the scene called it in at nearby Elliott’s Store.
The Simmons family resides in the Rock Creek community, which is about five miles from Bradley and about 30 miles from Brewton.
Tuesday, family friends and school officials described the child as a “ray of light” that was taken too soon.
Family friend and volunteer firefighter Chris Parsons was one of the first to arrive at the accident scene.
Zoey played county league softball at Pleasant Home. She is survived by her father, Brian, and another younger brother, Parsons said. Lori Simmons was the daughter of Jacky and Cathy Smith of Flomaton.
Bradley Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene with two trucks and put the fire out. According to the Alabama State Troopers, Simmons’ body and that of her child were transported to the Department of Forensics in Mobile to determine the cause of death.