Fox Meadow Elementary Student Killed

Updated by Will Carter:

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "He was a very energetic, bright, and happy child, creative.  He never met a stranger.  He had many friends.  He was just a great kid," said Nettleton Superintendent James Dunivan.

But now the life of 6 year old Tavien Epley has been cut tragically short.

Just after 8:00 on Tuesday morning, Epley was pulled under his mom's vehicle and run over as he was getting out to go to class at Fox Meadow Elementary.

"This is any school's worst nightmare, to have a student fatally injured at a school in any capacity.  It's our biggest nightmare, and any parent's biggest nightmare," said Dunivan.

And it was a nightmare that drug on throughout the morning.

Epley was taken to the NEA Baptist Medical Center where doctors worked for hours to save his life.

"His condition was very serious and they have been working, but I'm afraid that he has passed away at this point," reported Police Chief Mike Yates just after 11:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

It was a freak accident had now closed the final chapter on the life of a young child.

JPD Chaplain Bruce Page spoke with the family.

"They are all deeply saddened by the loss.  I spoke with the child's father.  He seems to be baring up pretty well," said Page.

Meanwhile questions are swirling as to why Epley didn't make it into the school.

Superintendent Dunivan says while there are chaperones up until 8 to help get the children in, after that, it's up to the parents.

"There are procedures that by 8:00 if you have not released your kindergarten child behind the school where we walk them out, you bring them to the front of the school.  After 8:00, you are required to walk them in," said Dunivan.

And on this morning that walk ended all to short for Tavien Epley.

"Any loss of life is difficult, but through God's help we handle what we have to handle," said Page.Currently police do not plan to file any charges and are ruling the tragedy merely an accident.

Meanwhile it's impact on the family and the school district is hitting hard.

There are currently no funeral arrangements in place for Epley.

How you can help:

We are told the family is struggling with money and needs assistance in setting up a funeral and the burial of their son.

Region Eight News has teamed up with BancorpSouth to help raise money for the family.

You can make a donation at any Bancorp South location by depositing it into the "Fallon Jenkins in care of Tavien Epley" fund.

We'll bring you the latest on this story including any arrangements as soon as they become available.

Email Will at

First Reports:

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A kindergarten student at Fox Meadow Elementary in south Jonesboro was struck this morning in an apparent vehicle/pedestrian accident.  The victim has since been identified as 6-year-old Tavien Epley.  Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates confirmed for Region 8 News that the child died shortly before noon in the emergency facilities of NEA-Baptist Medical Center in Jonesboro.

Nettleton School District Asst. Superintendent Bob Casteel told Region 8 News the accident occured shortly after 8 a.m. as a parent dropped the child off in front of the school's entrance.  The parent apparently thought the child was clear of the vehicle when she pulled the car away, striking the boy with the vehicle in the process.

The Fox Meadow campus, at 2309 Fox Meadow Lane, was under a lockdown following the incident, according to Casteel.

At 10:23 a.m., Fox Meadow assistant principal Amy House issued the following statement:

"A Kindergarten student was injured this morning while unloading from his parent's vehicle on the campus of Fox Meadow Elementary.  Nettleton School District crisis team members assisted classroom teachers with the delivery of this information to students.  Additional trained personnel will be on campus for the next few days to assist the Fox Meadow students and staff.  We will continue to update our Website as appropriate information becomes available."

This statement was issued shortly before the child's death was announced.

Meanwhile, a fund is being set-up through Banc Corp South for Tavien Epley's family.

Region 8 News will have more information on this tragic incident tonight at 5, 6 and 10 o'clock.