15 Passenger Church Van Crashes Into Canal - 18 Aboard
The van was a 2000 Dodge Ram Wagon B3500 Maxi with all occupants from Fort Pierce, Fl. and were traveling from Fort Myers back to Fort Pierce. The van was affiliated with Independent Haitian Assembly Of God Inc. out of Fort Pierce. The FHP indicates the van had a standard seat capacity of 15 people, but had 18 people aboard on this trip.
The crash occurred at approximately 12:31 am on March 30, 2015. The van was traveling eastbound on State Road 78, passed through a posted stop sign and traveled across all lanes of US 27. The van then traveled into a steep partially water filled canal located on the US 27 east side grass shoulder.
The male driver of the van and seven passengers are confirmed deceased. The identification of the deceased five males, and four females is pending notification of kin.
Update 3/31/15: The FHP identified as deceased theses passengers: Jude Petit-Frere, 66; Obernise Petit-Frere, 58; Madeleine Williams, 53; Dazillia Joseph, 79; and Servilus Diedonne, 71 (of St. Lucie, Fl.)
Update 4/2/15: The FHP has released the identities of the deceased driver and two deceased passengers: Driver: Volsaint Marsaille, 58 (The FHP indicates tests are pending for alcohol), passengers: Lifaite Lochard, 58 and Wanie Larose, 60.
Ten other passengers were transported to a total of four local hospitals in Lee, Highlands, and Hendry county.
Passengers listed in critical condition are Jose Zimero, 26; Clodette Fleurvil, 44; Innocent Roseme, 89; Esperant Lexine, 57; with serious injuries Jean Rafael, 73; Macaty Jean Jacques, 53; Marilia Dieudonne, 65; Faeyana Desirus, 4; with minor injuries Nozaire Nore, 48; Nicholas Alexis, 57. The last three have been released from the hospital.
The crash remains under active investigation the FHP said Tuesday afternoon.