Man dies, 4 critically injured in church van crash

Seventh-day Adventist church group was traveling from Lauderhill to Tampa

(ABC - 7)

ESTERO, Fla. – A man is dead after authorities say a church van traveling from Lauderhill to Tampa rolled over on Interstate 75 near Fort Myers early Saturday morning.

Florida Highway Patrol reported Nostra Damas, 20, died in the 7:30 a.m. crash on the I-75 northbound lane in Lee County.

Passengers Claudine Aveske, 2, Evelie Jean Francois, 39, Ose Elian, 22,  Gertha Petit Frere, 62, were critically injured.


Maranatha of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lauderhill owns the van that was involved in the crash.

Dortha Philidor, who witnessed the crash, told WPLG-TV that there were three vans going to the Seventh-day Adventist Church Florida Conference in Tampa.

When the vans' left rear tire blew up, she said, the driver lost control. The van then rolled over and several people were sent flying out of the van, she said.

The crash remains under investigation.