8 dead, 10 injured when Florida church van crashes

Van ran through a stop sign, crossed all lanes of a highway, and landed in a canal


Associated Press

MOORE HAVEN, Fla. — Eight people died and 10 others were injured when a van from a church ran through a stop sign, crossed all lanes of U.S. 27 and landed in a canal in rural southwest Florida, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The crash happened around 12:30 a.m. Monday in Glades County at an intersection. Glades County is east of Lake Okeechobee.

Florida Highway investigators examine a van that crashed into canal at the intersection of US 27 and State Road 78 West, Monday, March 30, 2015, near Moore Haven, Fla. Eight people were killed and 10 injured when the church van ran through a stop sign, crossed all four lanes of a rural highway and crashed into in a canal. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Florida Highway investigators examine a van that crashed into canal at the intersection of US 27 and State Road 78 West, Monday, March 30, 2015, near Moore Haven, Fla. Eight people were killed and 10 injured when the church van ran through a stop sign, crossed all four lanes of a rural highway and crashed into in a canal. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Lt. Gregory S. Bueno said the van was heading back to Fort Pierce, which is north of West Palm Beach on Florida's Atlantic coast, after a weekend convention in Fort Myers. There were 18 people on the van. The driver and seven passengers are confirmed dead.

Bueno said it was not foggy in the area when the crash occurred.

The 10 other passengers were taken to four hospitals, Bueno said. A 4-year-old child was in stable condition at a Fort Myers hospital. At least two patients were classified as trauma alerts. The injury status of two others weren't immediately known. The conditions of the other passengers ranged from serious to stable.

One of the five patients taken to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers was released, said Chris Dion, the hospital's administrative supervisor. Two patients there were in critical condition and two others were in stable condition Monday morning, he said.

 

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