LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Pastor Henoc L. Paulicin, Sr. and Florida Highway Patrol confirm two more people have died in Saturday's van crash on I-75: 22-year-old Osee Elian and 62-year-old Gertha Petit-Frere. That brings the total number killed to three.
Florida Highway Patrol said 20-year-old Nosta Damas of North Lauderdale died Saturday in the crash.
LEE COUNTY, Fl. - According to Florida Highway Patrol, one person is dead and more than a dozen others hospitalized after a tire blew out on a church van crash carrying parishioners to a church convention.
It happened on I-75 Saturday morning between the Corkscrew and Bonita Beach road exits. The crash was so big, emergency responders prepared for the worst.
"It's a tragedy that can happen to anybody so we are just here to show some support." said Maranatha member, Yoner Valnyr.
16 members of Maranatha church were traveling from Lauderhill to Tampa, for a Seventh-Day Adventist conference at the Center for Manifestation. They never arrived at their destination.
"It was shocking, it was a shock to us," said Pastor Yhunor Monilus.
"One of our young people passed away," he said.
That young person, has been identified as 20-year old Nostra Damas, a member of the youth choir.
"On behalf of maranatha we wish condolences to the family," said Valnyr.
Pastor Henoc Paulicin was inside Lee Memorial, comforting and praying with families.
"We are a family and so we grieve we wanna express our sadness to the family of those who have experienced loss," he said.
"Some people are very doing okay, we have some people just very distraught because of the accident," said Valnyr.
Members of the church are making their way to Lee Memorial Hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Center, offering their condolences and support.
"Our faith is strong, the church members are pouring in," Valnyr said.
"One of those guys, who is injured badly is my cousin so we were hoping that we would come to visit them to comfort them, to see them," said Pastor Monilus.
Belivers say, their faith will get them through this difficult time.
"Basically we know that everything happens for a reason, we know that god is still in control. we basically thank god. It could've been worse," said Valnyr.
The crash is still under investigation. The Florida Highway Patrol has not released how many of the people thrown from the van were wearing seatbelts at the time.