Church accepting donations for funerals, following deadly Glades County crash

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GLADES COUNTY, Fla.- The National Safety Transportation Board is in Southwest Florida, to investigate a tragic church van crash.

Eight people were killed and 10 others were injured in the crash around 12:30 a.m. Monday. It happened on State Road 78/US 27 in Glades County.

The outpouring of support is now stretching across the state for the victims and families.

WINK News has learned a radio station in Fort Pierce held a radio thon Tuesday morning to raise money for funeral and medical costs. A GoFundMe page has also been created to raise money for funeral expenses.

“Don’t lose faith.”Through great pain and great loss, one thing remains at the Independent Haitian Assembly of God Church.
Love.  Love for each other, says Daphne Gabriel, who spent her day on Orange Avenue, asking for donations.”Trying to raise money for the families who don’t have a lot.”
And love from the community.
People even though they don’t have much to give, they’ll wave or stop by and say hi and give hugs and condolences,” said Gabriel.
Church members lost 8 of their own Monday, from a violent crash in Glades County. The group was coming back from a Palm Sunday celebration in Fort Myers.
A lot of the families have lost the breadwinners. Trying to strike up as much support as we can,” said Mara Lexine.
Those lost include the driver. We miss him, we love him, we cherish him,” said Lexine.
10 others were injured. One of those was Mara Lexines father, the pastor.
“Great, great man. He’s a visionary.”
FHP says the driver was on State Road 78 when he missed a stop sign. The van nosedived into this canal off US 27.
The National Transportation Safety Board examined the van Tuesday. It’s being held at Clewiston Towing. Investigators will look at what may have happened to cause the driver to miss the stop sign, as well as if there are any safety issues with the van itself.
They will also look at the history of the roadway. WINK asked the Department of Transportation, who tell us between 2011-2013, there have been 11 crashes around a 250 mile radius of the 78/27 intersection. 6 have been injured, and 1 died in those crashes, before Monday’s tragedy.
Meanwhile church members are trying to figure out a way to bury their loved ones.  So far more than $18,000 has been raised.
“Your prayers are working, just continue to pray,” said Lexine.
WINK News checked and of the four patients still at Lee Memorial Hospital, one remains in critical condition. There are other victims in hospitals around the state. Three have been released, including a 4 year old girl.

Survivors include 10 people, five of which were transported to Lee Memorial Hospital:

Jose Zimero, 26, and Marilia Diedonne, 65, remained in serious condition on Tuesday. Clodette Fleurvil, 44, is in critical condition. Macaty Jean Jacques, 53, has improved to fair condition. Four year-old Faeyana Desirus was released Monday.

Nozaire Nore, 48, was released from Raulerson Hospital. Nicholas Alexis, 57, was released from Florida Hospital.

Jean Rafael remains in serious condition at Lawnwood Hospital. Esperante Lexine, 57, remains in Tampa General Hospital in serious condition.

Innocent Roseme, 89, remains in critical condition at St. Marys Medical Center.

Again, the church has set up a Go Fund Me account.You can also make a donation to the Assembly of God Relief Fund at any PNC Bank.  You do not need an account number.Donations are also being accepted at any Wells Fargo Bank.   The account number is 10103065215570.


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