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School Bus Driver Among 2 Killed In NJ Crash Mourned As Loving, Affectionate Grandmother

Denise Powell
Denise Powell Photo Credit: Denise Powell Facebook

A school bus driver was among two people who died in a three-vehicle crash Friday, police said.

The International 3000 bus was heading east and carrying 19 students from Olivet Elementary School in Elmer when it was struck by a westbound Nissan Murano on County Road 540 around 4 p.m., New Jersey State Police said in a release.

The bus and Nissan both veered into the westbound lanes, hitting a Volkswagon Jetta near milepost 28.5 in Pittsgrove, authorities said.

All three vehicles went off the road to the right.

The school bus driver and Nissan driver both were killed as a result of the crash, police said. The bus driver was identified as Denise Powell, 60, of Newfield. She was airlifted to Cooper Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The Nissan driver was identified as Pearl Caudill, 70, of Pittsgrove. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Volkswagen sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Inspira Medical Center Vineland. 

Two students were transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries for precautionary reasons.

Those who knew Powell said she was nicknamed "D-Nice," because of her giving and affectionate nature.

"D-Nice was the most giving, loving, supporting & accepting best friend's mom around," Alyssa Eachus wrote on Facebook.

"Always up for a party & more kids! 'Come on over Alyssa!' always being said in the background. 

"Open arms every time I saw her. Your soul was infectious, and the love you carried for your daughters and grandchildren was so amazing. I promise I'll always be there for both of them ❤ rest easy Denise Powell."

The crash remains under investigation and there is no additional information available.

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