Two More Die of Injuries Following Church Van Crash in Fort Myers: FHP

Two more victims of crash succumb to injuries, two other remain critical

The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed late Sunday that two more victims critically injured in a church van crash in Fort Myers succumbed to their injuries.

Ose Elian, 22, and Gertha Petit-Frere, 62, died from injuries they received when the van, which was traveling from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lauderhill to Tampa, rolled over several times Saturday morning on I-75 in Fort Meyers.

According to the FHP, the van had a tire blow out and the driver may have lost control when she tried to overcorrect just 20 miles south of Fort Myers.

Also killed in the crash was 20-year-old Nostra Damas. His relatives spent Sunday afternoon preparing the home for his immediate family returning from Fort Myers.

"I can't get over it, I can't believe it. I still think that he's going to walk through the door,” said cousin Nasha St. Gerard.

Still recovering from her own injuries, Nostra Damas' sister, Melinda, will now have to deal with her most painful wound, the hurt caused by seeing her younger brother essentially die before her eyes.

"I saw three bodies. I went close, I saw my brother, I saw him shaking. He was just shaking," Melinda Damas said in disbelief outside of the Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers on Saturday.

Two others remain in critical condition, including a 2-year-old who authorities believe was not in a child seat. At least 15 were injured in the crash.

More Local Stories:

Contact Us