Feedback
News

1 dead, 15 injured in Florida church van crash

A damaged church van is towed away Saturday after it rolled over in Lee County, Fla. WBBH

A van carrying 15 passengers rolled over a few times Saturday in Lee County, Fla., ejecting several of the passengers and killing a man, a Florida Highway Patrol spokesman said.

Lt. Greg Bueno said the accident occurred around 7:30 a.m. Saturday near Corkscrew Road on Interstate 75.

A 20-year-old male died in the crash. The ages of the passengers in the van ranged from 2 to 62 years old -- four males and 11 females. 

An estimated 10 ambulances and two helicopters were called to take the injured to nearby Lee Memorial, Gulf Coast and Tampa General hospitals.

Fifteen people were admitted to the hospitals – four are said to be in critical condition, three are in serious condition and eight have minor injuries.

Officials said the left rear tire tread separated from the tire causing the van to swerve onto the emergency lane.

When the driver attempted to regain control of the van, the vehicle banked and ultimately rolled over. The car came to a stop on its roof.

Officials have not determined whether any of the passengers was wearing a seat belt.

The van reportedly belongs to a Seventh-day Adventist church in Lauderhill, Fla., and was one of three in a caravan on its way to Tampa. The other two vans were not involved in the accident, Bueno said.

All northbound lanes of I-75 were shut down until 11:15 a.m. The lanes have since reopened, Bueno said.

The car pool began its trip in Broward County, according to Bueno.

The van was the second vehicle to have overturned on I-75 in the same day. A Greyhound bus overturned near Cincinnati, Ohio, injuring 37 people and critically wounding four.