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NTSB Opens Investigation into Fatal Church Van Crash in Florida

February 05, 2019

GAINESVILLE, FL. – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened an investigation into a fatal church van crash that occurred in Gainesville, Florida, according to an online news story reported at The crash happened almost a month ago, but NTSB was not able to investigate due to the government shutdown.* 

The crash occurred in January 3 on Interstate 75 in Gainesville. A car and a semi-truck crashed into each other on I-75 North, then both crashed through a guardrail and struck two southbound vehicles. One of the southbound vehicles was a van carrying members of a Marksville, Louisiana, church to Walt Disney World. 

Seven people died in the crash, including five children who were on the church van. Eight other people were injured. The accident occurred during the partial shutdown of the federal government, which affected NTSB. Almost all of NTSB’s workers were furloughed during this time and could not open new investigations.

On January 30, NTSB announced that it was sending a team to investigate the January 3 crash in Florida. In a message posted to social media, the agency said: “NTSB is sending an eight-member team to conduct a safety investigation of the highway crash that killed seven and injured eight in Gainesville, FL, on January 3, 2019, during the partial government shutdown. Gov. shutdown prevented NTSB from sending investigators to Gainesville immediately following [the] crash.”

The social media message went on to say: “NTSB is coordinating with Florida [Highway] Patrol, which opened its investigation immediately following the crash. FHP’s excellent work will greatly assist NTSB’s safety investigation while they continue their police investigation.” 

Accident News is an archive of select accidents designed to alert and educate drivers, to help them avoid the most common causes of motor vehicle crashes.  If you or a family member are injured in an accident, call Montlick & Associates 24/7 for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or use our live chat at  For more information about Montlick & Associates’ award-winning public service programs click here.  


* This blog is intended to provide the public with news concerning serious automobile accidents and related stories. Although we are receiving this information from news organizations, initial reports may be different from conclusions reached by law enforcement personnel and other organizations, upon further investigation. Therefore, the accuracy of the content is not guaranteed. The information published here is based on information that has already been reported by a news organization, or other sources, and we cannot and do not assume responsibility for its accuracy. The source that we utilized at the time is provided above. If this posting pertains to you or your family and you do not wish for it to be on our website, please email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to remove it, but when doing so, please include a link to the the article that you wish to be taken down.

Category: Accident News

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