Church Van Accident

by Larry Little

Just before 5:30 this afternoon authorities were investigating a church bus accident on highway 69 south near Alto. "The vehicle was driving down the road, it passed another vehicle southbound on 69, after the van passed the other vehicle, it came back in the lane and drove off the shoulder road, there is construction zone and the shoulders are little uneven," says Trooper Eric Long.

Authorities say the church van driver lost control after driving off of the shoulder. The van which shows it belongs to the Mt. Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Lufkin had 16 adult and underage passengers inside.  Three of the passengers were careflighted to a Tyler hospital and all other passengers were taken to a Jacksonville hospital. "There is only one person we can think of that might have been ejected," says Long.

The accident backed up southbound traffic for nearly an hour. Trooper Long says this was a dangerous situation but none of the injuries appear to be life threatening. "I was hoping I wasn't going to see any fatalities especially with a lot of children. They were very lucky somebody was there with them," says Long.

Pastor Simmons said on Sunday his members are doing fine after yesterday's wreck.