Community remembers mother, twins killed in fire
HARRISBURG, IL — Family members say Amanda Peacock and her twin daughters, Alaysia and Malaysia Peacock, were killed early Wednesday morning when their home in Harrisburg, Illinois, caught fire.
On Thursday, Harrisburg Middle School Principal John Crabb and several school bus drivers showed up at the home, one last time, to pay their respects and share memories of the twins.
“They were the life, the heart and soul of our middle school,” says Crabb. “This tragedy has created a hole not only at the middle school, but in our district, that I’m not sure that we will ever fill.”
Cynthia O’Neal is a retired bus driver who drove Alaysia and Malaysia to school from kindergarten through seventh grade.
“They were so funny,” says O’Neal. “There was never a dull moment with them. Out of all the kids on the bus, I knew their birth date.”
O’Neal admits she couldn’t always tell them apart, but they didn’t care. They loved her like family.
“They were never ready in the morning,” laughs O’Neal. “They would come out running to catch the bus. I told them they’re going to be track stars when they got older.”
O’Neal says the twins were both talented in athletics and academics, “And you could hear every word they said. They weren’t quiet.”
Now, as O’Neal sits in an empty school bus, it’s those energetic voices that she misses.
“They’re going to be missed,” says O’Neal. “They were loved by a lot of people.”
As of now, the Saline County coroner has yet to release the results from Thursday’s autopsies.