8 Killed, 10 Hurt After Church Van Crashes in Southwest Florida

Eight people were killed and 10 injured when the van they were in crashed into a canal early Monday in southwest Florida, NBC affiliate WBBH reports.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a preliminary investigation showed that a vehicle carrying 18 people and heading eastbound on SR-78 passed through a stop sign in the town of Moore Haven after midnight.

The van then traveled across all lanes of US-27 and crashed into a steep, partially-filled water canal.

The van is said to be from a church out of the Fort Pierce area, which is north of West Palm Beach, and was headed back after a weekend convention in Fort Meyers, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

According to NBC 6 South Florida teams on the scene, a smashed van was loaded onto the back of a flatbed truck at the crash site. That van belongs to the Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Independent Haitian Assembly of God, with a listed address of 1914 Orange Ave in Fort Pierce

The driver of the van and seven passengers died. Ten other passengers were transported to local hospitals.

The ten passengers were taken to four area hospitals, according to FHP.  One patient, a 4-year-old child, was in stable condition at a Fort Meyers hospital. At least two patients were classified as trauma alerts. The other passengers conditions range from serious to stable. The injury status of the other patients it not immediately known.

One of the five patients taken to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Meyers has been released, according to the hospital's administrative supervisor. Two patients there were in critical condition and two others were in stable condition Monday morning, he said.

FHP says it was not foggy in the area of the crash scene in Glades County, west of Lake Okeechobee. The T-intersection is said to be surrounded by farmland.

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