New Port Richey church gathers for prayer after deadly church va - WNCN: News, Weather

New Port Richey church gathers for prayer after deadly church van accident

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Church members pose for a picture before leaving for youth group retrea. Church members pose for a picture before leaving for youth group retrea.
Pastor Guy Sanders Pastor Guy Sanders
First Baptist Church of New Port Richey First Baptist Church of New Port Richey
First Baptist Church of New Port Richey First Baptist Church of New Port Richey
First Baptist Church van after crash. First Baptist Church van after crash.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - More than 500 people gathered at First Baptist Church of New Port Richey Saturday to pray for several members involved in a deadly traffic crash Friday morning. The accident happened in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 near Gainesville. The church van involved was following a charter bus full of students headed to a Georgia weekend retreat.

Two people were killed and several others injured when the tread on a back tire of a church van came and caused the van to flip after 8 Friday. The group left New Port Richey at 5 in the morning.

“They worked with our teens, they worked with other ministries in the church and they're just on the forefront of everything we do. They've been to Peru on mission trips and this is not the first time they've traveled on an out of town trip,” said lead pastor Guy Sanders Saturday.

Jeff Novak and Michalanne Salliotte were pronounced dead on the scene. Several others were taken to the hospital, including one teen who remains in critical condition according to the Pasco Sheriff’s facebook page.

“A third young man is in Shands having some procedures done. It will be a while for him, a lot of broken bones,” added Sanders.

Sanders said his sanctuary was more than half full Saturday as members gathered for prayer. Sanders said he will also talk about the accident Sunday during services. He expects family members of those that passed away to plan memorials in their honor.

“These folks knew Christ and they're in heaven so we were not trying to pray them in, they are already there,” added Sanders.

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