Church van crashes near Shorter

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Macon County, AL (WSFA) –Ten people are recovering from their injuries after a church van from First Baptist Church in Montgomery crashed on Interstate 85.

Troopers say it happened between mile markers 23 and 24 on Interstate 85 north, just a mile and a half from the Shorter exit.

Thirteen church members were on their way to a church event at Lake Martin when the van lost control and flipped several times.

In all, ten were injured.  Seven were taken by ambulance and three by helicopter to Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery.

Through it all, church members had a spirit of thanks that all on board made it out alive.

Pastor Jay Wolf says he's thanking God that he's not planning funerals right now.

Instead, he's giving thanks because he knows it could have been much worse.

"All of us are lucky to be alive," said Church Minister Hobson Roberts.

Roberts was in the passenger seat of the van.  He says they felt when the back tire blew out and then held on for their lives as the vehicle began to fishtail.

Roberts said, "It seemed like everything slowed down at that point.  We rolled about three times over into the other side of I-85."

His friend, Brad Coker, was driving right behind them.  He watched helpless as the van lost control.

Coker said, "I saw them start swerving trying to correct, then hit the median, and roll a couple times.  I saw kids flying out the windows, and I was thinking, oh my gosh, what's happening here."

Medics rushed the injured to Baptist South in Montgomery.  Church members joined them as they prayed for good news.

Pastor Wolf said, "At first we were comforting everyone, and then it became a pretty joyous occasion when we found out that no one was dealing with life threatening injuries."

It's something he says can only be explained by an act of God.

"My only explanation is that God intervened. We thank God for what did not happen."

WSFA 12 News has also confirmed that Briggs King, the 13 year old son of Attorney General Troy King, was on the van and thrown from the vehicle during the crash.

The Attorney General's Chief of Staff tells us Briggs has one to two broken bones and lacerations on his leg and head, but he's expected to be ok.

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