The NTSB (National Transportation and Safety Board) is investigating a crash that killed 8 people in Southwest Florida earlier this week.

Photo by AP

Photo by AP

A church van carrying 18 people crashed around midnight Monday. Eight people died and 10 were injured.

The group had left Fort Myers in a 15-passenger white Dodge Ram Wagon B3500 Maxi that crashed near Moore Haven. They were members of the Fort Pierce Independent Haitian Assembly of God, who’d celebrated Palm Sunday at a Lee County sister church, Eglise De Dieu La Jerusalem Celeste. Five men, including the driver, and three women were killed.

Headed home on S.R. 78, the driver missed a stop sign at an unlit T-intersection, careened across four lanes of U.S. 27 and nosedived into the shallow water, according to Read more about the crash.

The NTSB is investigating the crash. NTSB officials investigate less than 1% of the more than 12 million crashes that take place each year. Why are they investigating this one? According to, what triggered the investigation was the high number of deaths in a 15-passenger van. Such vehicles have been on the agency’s radar. In 2006, the NTSB issued a safety alert about them, warning of their instability when fully loaded, their tendency to roll over and difficulty for a driver to control in emergencies.

In addition, the vehicles are not generally driven or maintained as commercial or family vehicles are, the vans’ tires have a tendency to deteriorate. Read the NTSB alert on the vans.

Read more about the investigation.

If you have been involved in a crash, Bernardo Injury Law may be able to help. Contact us at (239) 332-3000 or toll free at 888-428-8943, email us at You can learn more on our website at