An automotive crash involving two tractor-trailers and two passenger vehicles has left a Florida church devastated after it claimed seven lives, including five of their children.
A division of the United Pentecostal Church, the Avoyelles Parish church group was headed from Marksville, Louisiana to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida when their van was struck.
The accident happened at 3:40 p.m. on Thursday just south of Gainesville when a semi-truck and another vehicle crashed on 1-75 north and tore through the guardrail. Upon crashing into southbound traffic, the vehicles reach another semi-truck as well as the church van.
“Once those semis hit, they both caught burn, ” reported Lt. Patrick Riordan of the Florida Highway Patrol.
After 50 gallons of spilled diesel fuel made a massive fire to erupt, another automobile was hit with the flying debris.
“It exploded. I signify, only a ball of flames, ” recalled the motorist of one vehicle that narrowly missed the crash.
Both motorists of the semi-trucks lost their lives, as well as five children in the church van. Eight others were rushed to the hospital with injuries.
“This is the worst thing that has ever happened to us. We have lost half of our children, ” an Avoyelles House of Mercy spokesperson told Avoyelles Today.
Family members have been notified and are making their route to Florida, but names are yet to be released.
Amidst the information and’ misinformation’ that has been circulated about the devastating crash, a neighboring church, New Life Assembly of God, is encouraging its congregants to focus their nerves on prayer.
“I don’t want you to focus on all the information. They’re still releasing the information to the families, the ones that should know route before we do, ” said Pastor Richard Newman Jr. in a Facebook video. “What I want you to focus on is praying for the families that are affected, this tragedy that’s hit our community. Let’s pray for the families that are affected. Let’s pray for the Church. Let’s bind together as the Body of Christ in a period where our fellow brothers and sisters necessity the Lord’s comfort more than ever.”
Update on Van Accident in Florida.
Posted by New Life Assembly of God on Friday, January 4, 2019
Kevin Cox, the superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church, released the following statement on Facebook regarding the horrific tragedy today 😛 TAGEND
“A Message FROM OUR SUPERINTENDENT 😛 TAGEND
Yesterday, January 3, 2019, a van loading of people from our United Pentecostal Church in Marksville, Louisiana( clergyman Eric Descant) were on their behavior to Orlando, Florida.
For some unknown reason, a large tractor-trailer truck crossed the median of I-7 5 near Gainesville, Florida and crashed into the church van. Sister Karen Descant, the pastor’s wife, and two other adult dames were on board the van. In addition, nine children were also on the van. Sadly, five of those children did not survive the incidents. Pastor Descant was not with them, but is at the hospital there in Gainesville with those who survived.
Sister Karen Descant has seven violated ribs, a shattered collarbone, multiple bruises, cuts, etc. Pastor Descant’s terms were,’ She is pretty banged up. One of the dames was pregnant. They delivered her newborn last nighttime, and the baby is going to be okay. She too is pretty’ banged up’. The other lady is no longer an severely injured, but is still in the hospital. The four children all have injuries, but the medical staff feel that all of them will mend and recover.
One of the five children who perished in the incidents, was the granddaughter of Pastor Descant.
It is the possibility that many of you have already been made aware of the accident because it built national news. But, you may not have heard that it was our own people who were involved. Pastor Jimmy Toney( clergyman in Gainsville) and his wife have been with our people virtually the entire hour since they were transported to the hospital. They and their faith have been exceedingly kind in this horrific tragedy.
Please pray for the healing of those physical harms. And, perhaps even more so, pray for that church household that has been so massively affected by this tragedy. Some of the children involved were Sunday School member of the Marksville church, but their parents were not involved in the church. Please pray that these mothers will realize that in times like this, simply God can be our Comforter.
~ Kevin Cox
Superintendent, Louisiana District UPCI”
Please join us in praying for the families of the precious children who have lost their lives in this heart-wrenching misfortune. May God’s peace that passes understanding guard their hearts and psyches in Christ Jesus.