Thirteen seniors returning home from a church retreat in Indian River County were killed when their bus slammed head-on with a pickup truck, cops said.
“It was a really gruesome scene,” a motorist told FHP.
Two people were also injured in the accident, which unfolded on a two-lane highway outside Vero Beach, located roughly 75 miles west of Sebastian.
One of them is believed to be the driver of the pickup, according to police.
Photographs and video captured at the scene of the crash showed how the vehicles managed to hit on each of their front drivers’ side.
The mangled up bus and heavily damaged truck can be seen in the middle of the roadway, pieces of metal and other debris scattered everywhere. The back of the bus appeared to be wedged up on the guardrail.
Inside was said to be senior congregants of First Baptist Church who were returning home from a three-day retreat. They were just 9 miles away when the crash occurred.
The church later released a statement on social media, confirming the fatalities.
“You never know what the day is going to bring,” The church pastor told FHP. “The Lord tells us that we have today, tomorrow is not promised.”
At least 14 people, all senior members of First Baptist, were believed to be on the van at the time of the crash.
“We are ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy,” FHP said the crash is still under investigation.
Accident attorney Jason Weisser of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck responded to this unfortunate crash. “This is a serious accident involving two vehicles (a minibus and a pickup truck) which ultimately resulted in the death of 13 seniors. We hope the investigators can quickly determine what caused the accident so that the family and friends of the victims can experience a closure. Please be careful and obey the speed limits whenever you are driving a motorcycle, car, SUV or truck. We hope that all parties involved consult with an experienced trial lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident, call my office for a free consultation and find out what your rights are.”
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