AVOYELLES PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A crash in Florida claimed seven lives, including five children from Louisiana. A pregnant woman was also injured.
The victims of the wreck have been identified, according to KALB in Alexandria. The children killed have been identified as:
- Joel Cloud, 14, of Marksville
- Jeremiah Warren, 14, of Marksville
- Cierra Bordelan, 9, of Marksville
- Cara Descant, 13 of Marksville
- Brieana Descant, 10, of Marksville
The others killed have been identified as:
- Douglas Bolkema, 49, of Albuquerque, NM
- Steve Holland, 59, of West Palm Beach, FL
Those injured in the crash include:
- Amy Joffrion, 45, of Mansura
- Ali Laborde, 30, of Marksville
- Karen Descant, 50, of Marksville
- Noah Joffrion, 14, of Mansura
- Chelsea Laborde, 11, of Marksville
- Trinity Woodward, 9, of Hessmer
- Chance Bernard, 9, of Hessmer
Cox said a van from a Pentecostal church in Marksville, Louisiana was involved in the crash and identified the church’s pastor as Eric Descant. He said the pastor’s wife was among the people who were injured and that his granddaughter was among the five children killed. Two truck drivers also died.
An unnamed volunteer at the Avoyelles House of Mercy church in Marksville said the congregation lost “half of our babies” in the crash. The volunteer was quoted on the Facebook page of U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy.
KALB reports the children were in the church van heading to Orlando. The van belongs to the Avoyelles House of Mercy Church, the television station reported.
Two big rigs and two passenger vehicles collided and spilled diesel fuel across the highway Thursday afternoon on I-75 near Gainesville, sparking a massive fire.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board issued the following statement about the crash:
Sen. Cassidy tweeted about the tragic incident.