Louisiana Church Mourns After Five Children Are Killed in Fiery Church Van Crash on Their Way to Disney World in Florida

Young members of the Avoyelles House of Mercy in Marksville, Louisiana, who died onJanuary 3, 2019. | Screenshot: ABC Action News

A United Pentecostal Church International congregation in Marksville, Louisiana, remained in the throes of mourning Monday after five children from their congregation were killed in a fiery crash on their way to what was supposed to be a fun trip to Disney World in Florida.

“When they left you were looking for them to go have fun and enjoy themselves. No one expected anything like this to happen,” Jacqueline Williams told the Associated Press. Her 14-year-old nephew, Jeremiah Warren, was among the five children killed.

In a statement Friday, the UPCI confirmed that the children who perished in the accident came from Avoyelles House of Mercy.

“Yesterday, January 3, 2019, a van load of people from our UPC in Marksville, Louisiana, (Pastor Eric Descant) were on their way to Orlando, Florida. For some unknown reason, a large tractor-trailer truck crossed the median of I-75 near Gainesville, Florida, and crashed into the church van,” UPCI Louisiana District Superintendent Kevin Cox noted in the statement.

Cox said the deceased children were among nine children and three adult females, including the pastor’s wife, Karen Descant, who were traveling in the van.

In addition to Warren, the other children who died were identified by authorities as: Joel Cloud, 14; Cara Descant, 13; Briena Descant, 10; and Cierra Bordelan, 9. Cox said one of the five children who died in the accident was the granddaughter of Pastor Descant.

No one was immediately available to speak from the church on Monday.

Heather Harper, from the UPCI’s Louisiana office, told The Christian Post Pastor Descant was still in Florida and could not immediately say which one of the girls was his granddaughter.

Cox said Pastor Descant’s wife had broken seven ribs, a collarbone, and suffered multiple bruises and cuts as a result of the accident. He also shared a statement from the pastor.

“She is pretty banged up. One of the ladies was pregnant, but we are told the baby is going to be all right. She too is pretty ‘banged up.’ The other lady is not as severely injured, but is still in the hospital. The four children all have injuries, but the medical staff feel that all of them will heal and recover,” Pastor Descant said.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post, Leonardo Blair