How an overcrowded church van plunged into a Florida canal, killing 8 - Washington Post

They looked elegant as the 18 congregants squeezed into the church’s big white van, a Dodge Ram Wagon B3500 Maxi, meant to seat only 15. They had made this two-hour journey late at night for years without incident, east on Rt. 78 to Rt. 27 through... Where State Rt. 78 meets U. S. 27, there’s a “T” intersection with a stop sign. If you’re moving fast enough and fail to stop, you’ll wind up down a steep hill and into a murky canal that parallels 27. “They didn’t see that stop sign. There are quite a few accidents involving these big church vans. In 2013, three passengers were killed and 13 injured when a Seventh-day Adventist church van’s tire blew, causing it to flip on a southwest Florida highway, according to AP. That same year, five members of a Baltimore Victory Outreach church died... In 2011, five members of a Baptist church in Louisiana lost their lives when their van overturned on a highway. … It’s a large vehicle so if the standard specs call for a maximum seating capacity of 15, that’s the maximum seating capacity because anything over that — you know — it could be potentially dangerous. Source: