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.


Site of church van crash to get flashing signals 06/18/1992 | Houston Chronicle

MINEOLA — Flashing traffic signals will be installed at the intersection where five people were killed last week when a cement truck crashed into a van traveling to Bible camp.

“I don’t expect much out of those lights at all,” said Gene Adams, assistant district engineer in the department’s eight-county Tyler office.

But he said that “just based on the remote possibility that it might help, we’re going to go ahead and put up flashing lights.”

The flashing red and amber lights will cost less than $2,000 and could be operating by Monday. The red lights will be put on stop signs for traffic on the farm road, and amber lights on a sign warning U.S. 69 traffic about the intersection 1,000 feet ahead.

The state earlier had decided against the lights because sunlight would render them ineffective, Adams said. Also, engineering studies have shown a stop-and-go signal light on U.S. 69 might increase rear-end collisions.

Officials in the small town about 80 miles east of Dallas have asked for overhead flashing lights for years. Before last week’s crash, two people had died in 22 accidents since 1984.

The van in last week’s crash was the second of three in a convoy carrying teen-agers from Dallas Chinese Bible Church to a five-day church camp in Hawkins, east of Mineola. Five were killed and ten injured in the accident.

There has been debate whether the driver of the van, Betty Lim, 30, came to a complete stop.

David Rayburn, accident investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said witness accounts have varied. In any event, if she did stop, he said, investigators are trying to determine why she pulled out into the intersection “because she had to yield.”

via Site of church van crash to get flashing signals 06/18/1992 | Archives | – Houston Chronicle.

Services set for 5 people killed in church van crash 06/11/1992 | Archives | – Houston Chronicle

Services set for 5 people killed in church van crash 06/11/1992 | Archives | – Houston Chronicle

THU 06/11/1992 HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Section A, Page 36, 4 STAR Edition

DALLAS — Services were set for five people killed this week when their church van pulled in front of a cement truck.

Nine teen-agers remained hospitalized from the fiery collision Monday near Mineola, about 80 miles east of Dallas.

The van driven by Betty Lim, 30, was one of three from the Dallas Chinese Bible Church headed to the Brookhaven Youth Camp in Hawkins for a weeklong retreat.

Authorities on Tuesday said Lim stopped at the wooded intersection of U.S. 69 and FM 546. But the Dallas woman apparently did not see the oncoming 12-ton truck, authorities said.

The van was struck broadside and its fuel tank exploded on impact.

Services will be conducted at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Restland Funeral Home in Dallas for three victims: Lim; Jonathan C. Fang, 17, of Irving; and Raymond Ng, 16, of Arlington.

Moore Funeral Home in Arlington will conduct services at 1:30 p.m. Saturday for Audrey Chiang, 16, of Arlington.

Services for Adelina Lau, 18, of Arlington will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, also at Moore’s chapel.

Church Van, Cement Truck Collide – 5 Killed, 10 Hurt – Orlando Sentinel

Church Van, Cement Truck Collide – 5 Killed, 10 Hurt – Orlando Sentinel
Church Van, Cement Truck Collide – 5 Killed, 10 Hurt

June 9, 1992

MINEOLA, TEXAS — A church van carrying children to camp ran a stop sign Monday and collided with a cement truck, killing five people and injuring 10, officials said. The van from Dallas Chinese Bible Church failed to stop at an intersection with U.S. 69, about 80 miles east of Dallas, said Brad Tullis of the state Department of Public Safety. Fifteen people were aboard the van. The truck driver, 60, wasn’t injured.

5 Killed, 10 Injured as Church Van Hits Truck – June 8, 1992

5 Killed, 10 Injured as Church Van Hits Truck – Los Angeles Times

MINEOLA, Tex. — A church van carrying children to camp ran a stop sign Monday and collided with a cement truck, killing five people and injuring 10, authorities said.

The van, one of three transporting children from Dallas Chinese Bible Church, failed to stop at an intersection on U.S. 69, about 80 miles east of Dallas, officials said. The driver of the cement truck was not injured. blog post cached from 6/8/2007

The other night, an old friend and I, along with our dear spouses, relected on how our lives and who we are today was shaped by something that happened 15 years ago.  In a split second, we had injuries that would mark us for as long as we live, and invisible scars from losing 5 that were, just previously, sitting and laughing next to us.  My friend asked me, “Can you imagine who you’d be today if the accident didn’t happen?”  We talked about what we remembered, I learned things that I never knew about his injuries and his struggles, and he learned about mine.  We talked about those we lost, how we remembered them, the strength of the families, the strength of the survivors.  We talked about the constant need to live up to being spared, never being satisfied.  And, after talking about it, I felt its release.  Pain was present that evening, but so was incredible joy.  God is good.  God is good.  God is good.

5 from Dallas area die in church van crash, 10 hurt in accident with cement truck
Author: Todd J. Gillman Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
Publish Date: June 9, 1992
MINEOLA, Texas — Five Dallas-area teen-agers and adults were killed and 10 others were injured in a fiery crash Monday when a church van was broad-sided by a cement truck, authorities said.  Texas Department of Public Safety officials in Tyler said the van ran the stop sign and was struck by a Transit Mix La-farge Corp. cement truck…”



[this is good]


[this is good]

I was seven when that happened, and I remember everyone coming to church to cry and pray and hug.

I think God loved all of you that were in the accident and protected you in different ways. Some he needed to see right then. Others still had work to do here on earth. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to live up to something huge, just because you were “spared.” It does mean that it’s all the more apparent God is going to accomplish something amazing through your life – maybe even just by your living and breathing and blogging ;).

Thanks for posting. Here is some love. 🙂

I just realized that Isaiah was born on that day (after reading John’s wife’s blog…) Did you realize that before?  Rather strange. No wonder the Fangs sent so many gifts for Isaiah. sigh.   Give me a call. Would love to talk.

Aw, thanks. That’s very sweet of you. Well, this little girl definitely was a bit camera-shy at first, but I just… babble, haha. I often wish i were a funnier person, so I can crack jokes or something. A friend gave me a suggestion yesterday, though – pretend you’re a judge on America’s Next Top Model so that when you “boss people around,” they think it’s a game. That seems like it could make life easier in future! 🙂
It’s been 15 years.  It does makes make me long for heaven more and long for more here.