3 Teens Killed, 10 Injured in Missouri Church Van Crash

A church van from Overland Park crashed north of Bolivar, Mo., and killed three teens.
A church van from Overland Park crashed north of Bolivar, Mo., and killed three teens.

Three teens were killed and 10 others injured when a church van from Johnson County, MO, skidded off the roadway after its rear tire blew out late Friday morning on Missouri 13.

The van, carrying 11 children and two church chaperones from Faith Chapel Assembly of God, was heading southbound on the way to a weekend floating trip when, shortly before 10:30 a.m., it left the highway, overturned and struck a tree about five miles north of Bolivar.

The three teens who died were ejected from the van, according to the Polk County coroner. They were David Martin, 16, of Olathe, Hannah Foy, 14, of Louisburg, and Samara Bayse 17, of Stillwell, according to a Missouri Highway Patrol report.

The teens were pronounced dead at the scene.

“The tire had blown out and that’s what caused it,” said Melissa Britton, the Polk County coroner. “He (the driver) was keeping it on the road, but the trailer the van was pulling started to fishtail, and the momentum carried them off the road.”

The driver of the car was identified as Bradley Bailey, 34, of Shawnee. Bradley, a youth pastor with Faith Chapel Assembly, had moderate injuries. He and six minors were released from Citizens Memorial Hospital by early Friday evening, said Wren Hall, a hospital spokeswoman.

Three passengers, one adult and two minors, were rushed to a Springfield hospital with serious injuries. One of those had to be airlifted, Britton said.

Britton said the van, a 2001 GMC G3500 model, was near an embankment. It rolled and then slammed into a tree.

The youth group was traveling in a caravan for a weekend of canoeing. Behind the van were two vehicles, including a minivan, with other members of the church and more children.

“There were witnesses with the same church group that saw it,” Britton said. “They saw the tire blow and everything.”

A couple of the passengers involved in the crash were trapped under the van, she said, “and it had to be lifted up off them.”

It isn’t known how many were wearing a seat belt.

“The wife of the gentleman who was driving the (church) van, she was driving the minivan,” Britton said. “She’s actually a nurse, and as soon as it happened, she got out and was triaging and she was helping. She did amazing. She got out and did what she was destined to do.”

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SOURCE: LAURA BAUER, KATY BERGEN, GLENN E. RICE AND MATT CAMPBELL
The Kansas City Star