KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Three teens died and three others were seriously injured after a church van lost control and ran off the road Friday morning.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, a van from Faith Chapel Assembly of God traveling in southern Missouri lost control and ran off southbound Missouri Highway 13 just before 11 a.m. Friday.
The three teens killed were identified by officials Friday evening:
- Hannah L. Foy, 14, of Louisburg, Kan.
- Samara J. Bayse, 17, of Stilwell, Kan.
- David T. Martin, 16, of Olathe, Kan.
None of the three who died were wearing seatbelts. Several others who were hurt were also not wearing seatbelts.
The van overturned about five miles north of Bolivar and struck a tree. No other vehicles are believed to be involved.
The highway patrol said 13 people were on board. In addition to the three people who died, three other people suffered serious injuries and were taken to a hospital in Springfield. Seven others had injuries that were not life-threatening and were taken to a hospital in Bolivar.
A highway patrol spokesman said the dead included a 17-year-old girl from Stilwell, Kansas, a 16-year-old boy from Olathe, Kansas and a 14-year-old girl from Louisburg, Kansas.
According to Polk County Coroner Melissa Britton, there was a second van from the church group following the van that wrecked. Witnesses from the second van said a tire blew on the first van and the driver lost control when a trailer attached to the van started fishtailing. It then rolled down a steep embankment and stopped when it hit a tree.
Britton said several of the kids were ejected. The driver of the second van was a nurse, who immediately started giving aid after the crash.
"After the fact, those people came together while they were waiting in the hospital," said Britton. "They are an amazing group of people. They were consoling each other and helping each other."
A pastor at Faith Chapel Assembly of God said the group of 22 people - five adults and 17 kids in grades 7-12 - left Friday morning for an end of summer canoe trip. The group was planning to come back on Sunday.
Following the crash, heartbroken members headed to Faith Chapel in Overland Park to be with one another.
“It’s been a pretty tragic day for a lot of people,” said Lynn Ross, who told 41 Action News she has attended Faith Chapel for over 30 years. “We’re a very close-knit group of families.”
Ross said she knew all the victims who died in the crash and could recall seeing one of them this week.
“I can remember Wednesday night,” she said. “The one girl I was walking by did the ‘I love you’ sign.”
As other churches from around the area posted messages of support and prayer on Friday, Ross said members of Faith Chapel would get through the tragedy together.
“We’re just calling and trying to help each other,” she said. “We’re just coming together to support each other.”
Those wishing to express condolences to the victims can go to the Facebook pages of the three churches:
This is a developing story. Stay with 41 Action News for updates.