Members of a Florida Pentecostal church were shocked and grief-stricken to learn that a van carrying numerous children and adults from their congregation was involved in a serious multi-vehicle collision. The incident caused serious personal injury to eight people. Sadly, an additional seven people died. When fatal accident victims include children, sorrow is always intensified.
Preliminary investigations show that a tractor-trailer was being driven by a 59-year-old man. The vehicle was traveling northbound, which was the same direction a car in another lane was headed as well. For reasons still unknown to investigators, the tractor-trailer careened across the traffic line and smashed into the car.
Both vehicles then crashed through a median and collided with the church van and another 18-wheeler, headed in the opposite direction. A fifth vehicle was also involved when it smashed into vehicles at the crash scene, which reportedly caused van occupants to be ejected from their vehicle. A post-crash diesel fuel leak ignited a massive fire.
Five children in the van and two truck drivers were killed. One of the victims who suffered personal injury and was listed in critical condition was the wife of the church pastor. Such incidents have long-term and far-reaching effects, not only on immediate family members of those involved but on entire communities. Litigation often follows collisions of this magnitude when the evidence suggests that driver negligence was a causal factor. Immediate family members of deceased victims, such as a parent or legal guardian of a child who has died, may file wrongful death claims in a Florida civil court to seek financial recovery for their tremendous losses.