Authorities: 1 dead, 19 hurt in Florida van crash

2:27 PM, Apr 14, 2013   |    comments
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KENANSVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The state Highway Patrol says one person was killed and 19 hurt when the driver lost control of an overpacked van that rolled several times on the Florida Turnpike.

Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Montes says the van had a tire problem about 7:10 p.m. Saturday in Kenansville, 60 miles southeast of Orlando.

Forty-six-year-old Merlande Chery of North Miami was ejected from the van and pronounced dead at the scene. Nineteen other people were injured, including three who had to be airlifted to nearby hospitals.

Montes says none of the injuries is considered life-threatening.

Investigators say the van was designed to hold 15 people and also was carrying a lot of luggage. Montes says the van belongs to the GSC Community Inc., a Miami church group that was headed to Orlando.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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