Dash camera video shows moments before 7 people killed in crash near Gainesville

Church group from Louisiana headed to Disney World when crash happened

By Mark Lehman - Reporter

New dash camera video is giving insight into the moments leading up to a deadly church van crash that killed seven people in January near Gainesville.

The video, obtained by CBS News, shows the moment a semitruck slammed into the van, which was carrying a church group bound for Walt Disney World.

The Eagle Express semi crashed into another vehicle in the northbound lanes of I-75 before crossing the median and hitting the van and another 18-wheeler.

The dash camera video was from the 18-wheeler.

Ali Laborde was a chaperone in the Louisiana church van. Her 13-year-old daughter, Cara, and cousin Cierra died in the crash.

"I remember closing my eyes and thinking 'This is it. We're gonna die,'" Laborde said. "I kept telling myself, 'Everyone's OK. They're just hurt.' I didn't realize the severity. I didn't realize that there were five children that ... weren't alive."

Laborde was pregnant at the time of the crash but her unborn daughter was unhurt.

Since the crash, Laborde and other survivors have filed lawsuits against those they say are responsible.

One lawsuit filed in January against Eagle Express alleges negligence and wrongful death.  It claims the driver of the semi had a tarnished driving record and the company didn't take necessary action to keep others on the road safe.

In a statement to CBS News, Eagle Express said it takes safety very seriously.  

"We mourn the tragic accident. It appears (the truck driver) suffered a sudden medical emergency that rendered him unconscious, thus leading to the accident," the statement said.

The National Transportation and Safety Board has not commented on what may have led up to the crash.

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