One Killed, Nearly 20 Injured in Florida Van Crash

Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that an overcrowded van recently caused a crash in southern Florida, killing the driver and injuring 19 others. Those injured were in a church group, traveling from Miami to Orlando.

The van reportedly had a tire problem while driving on the Florida Turnpike 60 miles southeast of Orlando and lost control, rolling several times before stopping. The crash occurred around 7 p.m. in Kenansville. The rollover was caused by the faulty tire, the rubber of which separated from the wheel.

The driver, Merland Chery, 46, was ejected from the van at the time of the crash and pronounced dead at the site. Several members of the church group were injured, including some children. Three passengers were airlifted by EMS helicopters to nearby hospitals; fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening. A spokesperson for the Florida Highway Patrol stated that it was extremely fortunate that only one person was ejected during the rollover, considering the large amount of people and luggage onboard.

The van was owned by GSC Community, which is a Christian group based in Miami. It was only designed to carry 15 passengers, although there were 20 people onboard at the time of the crash in addition to piles of luggage. Troopers are still trying to determine exactly how many times the van flipped and how many passengers were wearing seatbelts.

In related news, a man from Hammond, Indiana recently admitted to being drunk after he struck a marked police SUV with his car. Two officers and one passenger were injured in the crash, which occurred on the 1300 block of North Clark Street in Chicago on Sunday, April 14, 2013. The police SUV was parked while officers inside it filled out paperwork from another traffic crash. The driver, a 35-year-old Indiana man, admitted he drank about 14 beers prior to the crash.

He was charged with two counts of misdemeanor DUI and one count of reckless driving, also a misdemeanor. The passenger in the back of the police SUV along with one officer was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where they were stabilized. The other officer was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was also stabilized.

At the time of the crash, officers told the Chicago Tribune that they smelled a strong odor of alcohol on the man, and he was immediately placed into custody at the Near North District police station. Here, the man had trouble keeping his balance. Police gave him a breathalyzer test, after which he admitted to drinking the numerous beers at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field Saturday, along with several more at a friend’s home after the game. His BAC was measured at 0.19, which is more than twice the legal limit.

A few miles away in the Chicago suburb of Carol Stream, a man was recently charged with home invasion for unlawfully entering a family residence in 2011. The home belonged to a police sergeant and his family. Around 7 a.m., the officer and his wife were awakened by a noise downstairs. The officer went to the first level and found a man in his living room standing near his four-year-old son. When the man refused to leave, the two men began fighting. When their next door neighbor, a retired correctional officer, came over to help, the boy’s father went to his car to get his pistol. Moments later, he shot the intruder in the stomach at close range. The intruder claims he had been drinking all night at a party nearby and walked into the officer’s house by mistake.

Car crash lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm encourage anyone injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another to consider getting legal advice from a skilled attorney. You may be entitled to significant compensation for past and future medical bills, any lost wages, and emotional distress.