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NTSB investigates north Florida church van crash

12:36 PM, Mar 13, 2014   |    comments
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LAKE CITY, Florida (AP) - Federal safety officials are investigating a fatal church van crash in north Florida that involved the catastrophic failure of a tire that was part of a July 2012 product recall.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported Wednesday that the tire involved in the crash, a two-year-old BFGoodrich Commercial T/A A/S, was part of a product recall initiated by BFGoodrich for approximately 794,000 tires.

On Feb. 21, a van from the First Baptist Church in New Port Richey was traveling on Interstate 75 near Lake City when the left rear tire blew out. 

Two adults were killed in the resulting crash, while another adult and seven juveniles were injured. One of the teenagers was critically injured, but a church member said that his condition is improving. 

 

"He's doing good. He's aware (and) knows what's going on. His mom is talking to him and the update is he's doing very well," said church member James Bond.

The NTSB says it will examine the tire and review the effectiveness of the recall process to determine whether the First Baptist Church ever received the safety recall notice.

A spokesman for Michelin, BFGoodrich's parent company, says they're cooperating fully with the investigation.

When contacted by phone, New Port Richey Baptist Church youth minister Brad Smith said he could not comment on the recall issue related to the church van tires.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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