The accident took place just after 12:30 a.m. in Glades County just east of Lake Okeechobee. Ten people in the van survived and were taken to 4 different hospitals in the area, but eight people were killed, including the driver, CNN reported.
The 18 members of Independent Haitian Assembly of God in Fort Pierce were returning home on a rural stretch of road which mostly sees commercial traffic. Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Greg Bueno WPBF that van was heading east on US 27 when the van approached a stop sign at SR 78. Instead of stopping for the sign, the driver blew through it, crossing all lanes of SR 78 then plunging 8 to 10 feet down an embankment into canal, according to CNN.
CNN reports that one of the people in the van managed crawl out of the wreckage and up the embankment to get help from a passing motorist.
Passengers in the van ranged in age from 4-years-old to over 80-years-old. The child is among the survivors.
Lt. Bueno said that it wasn’t foggy at the time of the accident and are still trying to determine the cause. Police noted that the van had a maximum 16-passenger capacity.
Capacity often plays a role in accidents such as these and even a van that is a little over capacity can be involved a devastating accident. Take for instance a 2013 Florida accident involving members of a Broward County church which left one person dead and injured a total of […]