UPDATE: 8 dead after church van carrying 18 passengers crashes in watery ditch

Eight people are dead and 10 more injured after a church van crashed into a water-filled ditch in Glades County, Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) reported.

The incident occurred at around 12:31 a.m. on March 30.

A church van affiliated with Independent Haitian Assembly of God Inc, of Fort Pierce, was driving from Fort Myers to Fort Pierce when the accident occurred, according to a report released by FHP.

The van, traveling eastbound on State Road 78, approached the intersection of U.S. 27 in Glades County where it reportedly crossed all lanes of traffic before driving into a steep, partially water-filled ditch. The van reportedly came to a final rest in an upright position in the ditch.

The 2000 Dodge Ram Wagon with 15 standard seats was reportedly carrying 18 passengers at the time of the accident.

The male driver and seven other passengers, four male and three female, were confirmed deceased. Their names have not been released, pending notification of next of kin.

10 other passengers were taken to area hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical.

Nozaire Nore, 48, and Nicholas Alexis, 57, were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries and have since been released.

Jean Rafael, 73; Macaty Jean Jacques, 53; Marilia Dieudonne, 65; and Faeyana Desirus, 4, were transported to area hospitals with serious injuries.

Jose Zimero, 26; Clodette Fleurvil, 44; Innoncent Roseme, 89; and Esperant Lexine, 57, were taken to area hospitals with critical injuries.

It was originally reported that all 18 passengers traveling in the van were from Fort Pierce.

Test results from the driver’s blood alcohol content are currently pending.

The crash remains under investigation.

UPDATE: March 31

Florida Highway Patrol has released the names of five of the eight victims of Monday morning’s deadly accident.

Jude Petit-Frere, 66
Obernise Petit-Frere, 58
Madeleine Williams, 53
Dazillia Joseph, 79
Servilus Diedonne, 71, of St. Lucie

UPDATE: April 2

Florida Highway Patrol has released the names of the three other victims, including the driver, of Monday’s deadly accident in Glades County.

Volsaint Marsaille, 58, driver
Lifaite Lochard, 58
Wanie Larose, 60

It is reported the driver and the first passenger in the van, Petite-Frere, were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. It is unknown at this time whether or not other passengers in the van were wearing seatbelts.

The accident remains under active investigation.

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