NTSB Investigates North Florida Church Van Crash

By: Associated Press News Email
By: Associated Press News Email

News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: March 12, 2014, 9:15pm

LAKE CITY, Fla. (AP) -- Federal safety officials are investigating a fatal church van crash in north Florida that involved the catastrophic failure of a tire that was part of a July 2012 product recall.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported Wednesday that the tire involved in the crash, a two-year-old BFGoodrich Commercial T/A A/S, was part of a product recall initiated by BFGoodrich for approximately 794,000 tires.

On Feb. 21, a van from the First Baptist Church in New Port Richey was traveling on Interstate 75 near Lake City when the left rear tire blew out. Two adults were killed in the resulting crash, while another adult and seven juveniles were injured.

The NTSB says it will examine the tire and review the effectiveness of the recall process to determine whether the First Baptist Church ever received the safety recall notice.

A spokesman for Michelin, BFGoodrich's parent company, says they're cooperating fully with the investigation.


News Release: Associated Press News

LAKE CITY, Fla. (AP) -- Police say a church van flipped on an interstate in north Florida, killing two adults and seriously injuring two teenagers.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that the van from First Baptist Church of New Port Richey was traveling north on Interstate 75 near Lake City Friday morning when the left rear tire blew out. The driver, 52-year-old Jeff Novak, lost control and flipped the van. He was killed and several people were ejected.

Also killed was 44-year-old Michalanne Salliotte. Two 14-year-old boys were taken to the hospital, one in critical, the other in serious condition.

Five others between 12 and 16 years old and one adult were treated for minor injuries.


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