Local church van involved in fatal Florida crash

Flames engulf vehicles after a fiery crash along Interstate 75 in Florida

Flames engulf vehicles after a fiery crash along Interstate 75 in Florida

The crash happened at 3:40 p.m. Thursday just south of Gainesville in north Florida.

In a press conference on Friday, FHP Lt.

Three women, including the wife of the pastor of the church, Sister Karen Descant, and nine children were in the van when the crash occurred, Kevin Cox, the superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church's Louisiana District, said in a statement. Officials say they ranged in age from 8 to teens.

Disney World spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler expressed the theme park's sympathies to the victims' families. "We extend heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones impacted by this tragic accident". Five of the children from a Pentecostal church in Marksville, Louisiana, and the two truck drivers died.

"She too is pretty banged up", he said Friday.

In the same Facebook post, Cox said that the Descants' granddaughter was among those killed.

Patrick Riordan said five of the victims who died in the crash were in the passenger van and others from the van were hospitalized, but he wasn't aware how many, The Gainesville Sun reported.

The Pentecostals of Gainesville created a fundraiser to help cover travel and housing expenses for the families of victims heading to Florida.

On Thursday, two vehicles traveling north - a tractor-trailer and a auto - smashed into each other and then burst through a metal guardrail, slamming into another semitrailer and the van carrying the children. They struck the passenger van and another tractor trailer. He said the some of the van's occupants were ejected and both semitrucks caught on fire.

Comox Valley property assessments on the rise
Moore says high home prices, rising interest rates, new mortgage requirements and taxes all contributed to the market conditions. The agency forecasts condominium values will increase by up to 20 per cent across B.C. this year.

Debris including personal property and vehicle parts was scattered across the road, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The guardrail in the middle of the road did not stop the vehicles from traveling across.

"Unfortunately, this is a mass casualty crash with fire and an extensive scene".

"Any time there's a crash on any of our roadways, we go back and look at the road itself to make sure it did not contribute to the crash", he said.

It was later confirmed at least seven people died in the crash - with an unknown number of passengers also being rushed to hospital. Authorities have not why they are treating the deaths as potential homicides. Riordan said since numerous victims' families are out-of-state, it may take longer than usual.

KALB-TV reports pastors from neighboring churches in Central Louisiana stopped by Avoyelles House of Mercy Friday to show their support.

Meanwhile, the Florida Highway Patrol is now investigating the cause of Thursday's crash, which has been classified as a traffic homicide.

It's unclear whether the victims were killed in the wreck or whether they burned in the fire, which would make identification more hard, he said.

"Our investigators are the best of the best", he said.

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