1 Dead, 18 Injured On Florida Turnpike When Church Van On Mission Trip Crashes

A crash on the Florida turnpike left one person dead and 18 injured when the driver of a church van lost control, causing the vehicle to roll several times.

The van had a tire problem at close to 7:10 pm on Saturday, said Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Montes. This caused the driver to lose control, and as the van flipped a 46-year-old woman from North Miami was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.

The van’s driver, Willem Camille, was also seriously injured.

The van is owned by a non-profit youth-development group based out of Miami. It was being used to transport a church group on a mission trip, police said.

An investigation showed that there were 19 or 20 people in the van, and all were taken to local hospitals, five by medical helicopter and the others by ambulance.

The crash on the Florida Turnpike was not the only major traffic accident to take place in the Sunshine State over the weekend. On Friday evening, five people were killed in Interstate 95 when a Mercedes ran a red light, crashing into a Lexus.

Police said the two-vehicle crash took place on an exit ramp, with the Mercedes sending the Lexus rolling into a tree.

Four people died on the scene, and another was taken to the hospital and died there, police said.

Authorities have identified some the people killed in the crash, including 21-year-old Jason A. Mahlung and 17-year-old Shonteria Grimsley, both of Riviera Beach.

Two of the females who died at the scene were not yet identified, and police were still working to notify the family of the 22-year-old male before releasing his identity to the press. All of the victims were between the ages of 14 and 22.

After the Florida Turnpike crash, police closed all lanes of traffic for nearly five hours. By 12:15 am on Sunday only one lane had reopened.