DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) - Two children and a woman died when their church bus crashed Saturday on Interstate 10 as they were heading to Tallahassee.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the bus driver lost control after a rear tire blew out. The van rolled over several times and several passengers were thrown out of the vehicle.
Church services were cancelled Sunday at the Gospel of the Kingdom Church in DeFuniak Springs, where many in the small congregation were visiting victims in hospitals or comforting the families of the deceased.
The Northwest Florida Daily News (http://bit.ly/1gXGWwj ) reports Maliya Chrishon, 8, Micah Goldsmith, 11 and Patricia Baker, 58, died. Goldsmith's mother, grandmother and baby sister were also in the van. Her mother, Akyra Eiland, 30, was in critical condition when she was taken to a Bay County hospital.
"As a community, DeFuniak Springs is pretty small," the girl's aunt, Akiba Goldsmith, told the newspaper. "Everybody knows everybody. When one hurts, everybody hurts. It was a tragedy for everyone and they will be missed."
Carlene Anderson, the school superintendent of Walton County, said the two girls attended nearby elementary schools.
"The people involved, I taught their parents, I hired people in their families, I know these names," she said. "This will have a huge impact on everyone."
Anderson said the families affected are good people.
"I hate that there is tragedy in their lives right now," she added.
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