Following deadly church van crash, Tampa area pastors and non-profits play it safe on the roads

8:07 PM, Mar 13, 2014   |    comments
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New Port Richey, Florida -- After a New Port Richey church van blew a tire and flipped over killing two of its passengers last month, 10 News asked local churches and non-profits what they are doing to protect their passengers.

Pastor Rick Cabot says what happened in February was a tragedy.

"It's kinda hard not to think about what happened. I just feel how it rips the heart out of families when that happens," he said.

That kind of crash is something Cabot and his team are trying to prevent and it was a United Methodist risk management team that led Cabot's church to get rid of 15 passenger vans all together.

"It was so convenient but they really impressed in churches the need to be safe, first and foremost."

It's the same for the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg.

"YMCA phased out all use of 15 passenger vans due to the fact that they are structurally unsound and really prone to tire blowouts and highly likely to roll over," said YMCA Marketing Director Ashley Ryneska.

SEE ALSO: Tire shop manager says replacing recalled tires is easy to do

Even more important?

"Our drivers every time that they take a bus out, they have a checklist that they use to check the safety of the interior and exterior of all of our vehicles," she said.

But with the recalled tire to blame for the blowout, 10 News reached out to more local churches.

We reached out to 12 churches, two preschools and area YMCA's -- only two of which were able to comment on camera about how they're keeping passengers safe on the roads, which is why it's so important for you to ask the question too.

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