Church van tragedy in Mineola Texas 25 years ago

Five killed in church van accident

June 8, 1992 (UPI)

MINEOLA, Texas — A church van and a cement truck collided at an intersection in northeast Texas Monday, killing five people and injuring ten others, the Department of Public Safety said.

The DPS said earlier that six had died, but spokeswoman Laureen Chernow corrected that figure Monday night.

The van was registered to the Grace Chinese Baptist Church of Richardson, a Dallas suburb, and it was enroute to an East Texas youth camp, the DPS said. All the victims were in the van which burned after the collision.

The vehicles collided at 12:26 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 69 and Farm-To-Market 564 loop at Mineola, about 70 miles east of Dallas. It was not immediately known which driver was at fault, the DPS said.

‘It (the van) was traveling east on Farm-to-Market 564, the loop around Mineola, crossing U.S. 69 when it was struck broadside by the southbound cement truck,’ Chernow said.

Carroll Caskey of Quitman was the driver of the cement truck registered to Transit-Mix Lafarge Corp. of Tyler, she said. He was not injured.

‘It (the van) was enroute to the Brookhaven Retreat near Hawkins,’ said Trooper Buddy Owles. ‘I have heard this was one of a group of three or four vans headed for the camp.’

The injured teenagers, ages 14 to 17, were taken by helicopter and ambulances to the East Texas Medical Center and Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. Some were transferred later to Dallas hospitals.

Chernow said late Monday the Richardson Police Dept. was notifying next of kin of the dead, and would not release any names until all had been notified.

East Texas Medical Center spokeswoman Dottie Roark said the conditions of the victims ranged from ‘serious to critical.’

Friends and relatives gathered at the Richardson church to await news about the victims. Paramedics were called to treat one victim of hyperventilation.

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