Church van crashes into children’s bedroom in Fort Myers

Reporter: Olivia Jean
Published: Updated:

The Fort Myers Police Department responded to a crash involving a church van that rammed into the children’s bedroom of a home.

The crash was reported to police at around 11 a.m. on Tuesday at a home located on Braman Avenue, just off of Royal Palm Ave.

The inside of the house after the crash. CREDIT: WINK News

Witnesses say the driver was speeding and severing off of the road, and then shortly after heard a “boom.” That’s when the van, belonging to the First Haitian Baptist Church of Fort Myers, hit the home. The church declined a comment.

The family was home at the time of the crash; fortunately, no injuries have been reported.

Four children, aged one, five, eight and ten were seen being assessed inside an ambulance while first responders were on the scene. They have been since released from the hospital.

WINK News Reporter Olivia Jean spoke with two of the kids, who said they are doing OK after what they called the “scariest moment of their life.”

WINK News spoke with the driver, who said he was shaken and limping but stable. He was also taken to the hospital after EMS determined he had low blood sugar. His condition at this time is unknown.

“We arrived on scene we found a crew van that had driven into the side of a house. It was about three-quarters into the building,” Rick Reynolds, the Fort Myers Fire Marshal, said.

The children were right near the car. Three of them had to be rescued through a window. One was a trauma alert as she was thrown across her bedroom.

“Believe it or not, we see this quite often. A lot of times, people get confused between the gas pedal and the brake, and they panic. And instead of hitting the brake, they hit the gas. People panic, and don’t really know what to do and next thing or another. They are in a building,” Reynolds said.

Those on scene said the driver, aged 78, was the only one in the car. He was checked on by medics and then eventually taken to the hospital.

Around ten church members, including the pastor, showed up to check on their fellow church members, who they identified as Emmanuel.

Taking the car out of the house was tricky.

“You hook it up so you don’t pull the pull the walls down, you don’t want the roof collapsing or the foundation cracking, old structure. Dropping it all, try to take all the precautions,” Chris Decanio, the tow operator, said.

The entire process took around 30 minutes.

“You just pray that nobody got hurt or killed. That’s the only thing I cared about,” Decanio said.

Police, fire, EMS, and the Red Cross were on the scene.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation but the Fort Myers Police Department said it’s potentially medically related.

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