The Florida Highway Patrol named the five children as 14-year-old Joel Cloud, 14-year-old Jeremiah Warren, 9-year-old Cierra Bordelan, 13-year-old Cara Descant, and 10-year-old Brieanna Descant.
I am asking everyone to please keep the Marksville United Pentecostal Church in your prayers-pastor: Bro. Eric Descant!…
According to News4Jax, they were traveling from Marksville, Louisiana, which is about 700 miles from Disney World. They were an hour away from the theme park when the crash occurred along Interstate 75 in Gainesville.
The accident also left two truckers dead.
Steve Holland of West Palm Beach, one of the truckers, was cited between 2000 and 2014 in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida for traffic violations, driving an unsafe vehicle, driving without proof of insurance, and driving an overloaded vehicle, reported WPBF.
The station reported that he was driving north on Interstate 75 on Jan. 3 when he veered into another vehicle, lost control, and passed over the center divider, hitting the church van with children inside as well as another truck.
The other truck driver that was killed, was identified as 49-year-old Douglas Bolkema of Albuquerque, New Mexico, WPBF reported.
At least eight other people were injured, some seriously, in the crash, reported Florida Today. Several other children were injured seriously or critically.
Photos and video footage showed a large fire engulfing several vehicles.
“It is a heartbreaking event,” Lt. Patrick Riordan said Jan. 4.
Truck driver in fatal I-75 crash has ties to West Palm Beach.http://bit.ly/2RbCCTw
“I didn’t believe that it had happened,” a friend of deceased 14-year-old victim Jeremiah Warren told First Coast News. “I cried a little bit.”
The pastor’s wife is in critical condition and has broken ribs as well as a broken collarbone, the report said. Another injured woman from the church van was pregnant, according to the report. The unborn child is expected to be fine, the church said.
The church asked for prayers following the accident, the report said.
Disney World spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler expressed condolences to the victims’ families.
“There are no words to convey the sorrow we feel for those involved,” she said, News4Jax reported. “We extend heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones impacted by this tragic accident.”
The crash is still under investigation, said officials.
The highway patrol identified the occupants of the five vehicles involved in the crash and listed their status:
Steve Holland, 59, West Palm Beach, deceased
Robyn Rattray, 41, Gainesville, seriously injured
The Louisiana District United Pentecostal Church International has set up a fund where you can donate to the families upended by this tragedy.
Amy Joffiron, 45, of Mansura, Louisana, seriously injured
Ali Laborde, 30, of Marksville, Louisana, seriously injured
Karen Descant, 50, of Marksville, Louisana, critically injured
Noah Joffiron, 14, Mansura, Louisana, seriously injured
Chelsea Laborde, 11, of Marksville, Louisana, seriously injured
Trinity Woodward, 9, of Hessmer, Louisana, seriously injured
Chance Bernard, 9, of Hessmer, Louisana, seriously injured
Joel Cloud, 14, of Marksville, Louisana, deceased
Jeremiah Warren, 14, of Marksville, Louisana, deceased
Cierra Bordelan, 9, of Marksville, Louisana, deceased
Cara Descant, 13, of Marksville, Louisana, deceased
Brieana Descant, 10, of Marksville, La., deceased
Douglas Bolkema, 49, of Albuquerque, deceased
Mark Houghtaling, 61, of Gainesville, uninjured