Two people were killed and several children transported to the hospital when a church van from New Port Richey crashed in northern Florida Friday morning.
The van, from the First Baptist Church of New Port Richey, was traveling northbound on I-75 near the U.S. 90 exit when it blew a tire.
The driver, 52-year-old Jeff Novak, lost control and the van overturned. According to FHP, several people were thrown from the van.
Novak and a passenger, Michalanne Salliotte, 44, were killed. A 14-year-old boy was transported to the hospital in critical condition. Another 14-year-old boy suffered serious injuries.
Several other children and one adult had minor injuries.
The pastor of the church released the following statement:
"The family and staff at First Baptist Church of New Port Richey is sad to report the loss of two of our dearly loved members in a traffic crash this morning. A group of our teens were traveling to Georgia for a youth retreat when one of the vehicles left the roadway and crashed. We are still praying for the recovery of a few of the teens who were also injured in the crash and are being treated in hospitals in north Florida. We ask that you respect the privacy of the family involved and continue to pray for healing."