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Video shows deadly collision between La. church van and out-of-control semi

1 year 1 month 3 weeks ago Wednesday, July 31 2019 Jul 31, 2019 July 31, 2019 1:38 PM July 31, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The WBRZ Investigative Unit, through its ABC News partnership, obtained crash video (WARNING) that’s part of the NTSB investigation into the collision between a semi and a church van that killed five kids from Louisiana earlier this year.

The video shows the devastating moment a semi crashed into the van on I-75 near Gainesville, Florida, as the church group from Avoyelles Parish was on its way to Disney World.

WARNING: This video contains graphic images. Viewer discretion is advised.

Ten-year-old Brieana Descant, nine-year-old Cierra Bordelan, 14-year-old Joel Cloud, 14-year-old Jeremiah Warren and 13-year-old Cara Descant were killed. They were passengers in the van from Marksville. Truck drivers 49-year-old Douglas Bolkema and 59-year-old Steve Holland were killed.

Holland was driving the rig that caused the deadly crash.

The video shows Holland crossing from the other side of the interstate, smashing his rig through what appears to be a low, metal barrier and into the van. The van seems to burst into pieces when its smashed by the semi. Holland’s rig continues and slams into another rig.

Upon impact between the two trucks, the camera cuts off. The windshield of the truck shatters as the camera shuts down.

The video shows the driver of the church van make a last-ditch effort to swerve from Holland’s path, but it was too late – the front of the truck destroyed the van and it shattered into pieces.

WBRZ made an editorial decision to freeze segments of the video showing the impact between the van and the truck because it is so disturbing.

A Florida TV station later reported Holland was ticketed between 2000 and 2014 in at least five states for speeding, driving an unsafe vehicle, having it overloaded and not carrying proof of insurance.

It’s unclear if all the children were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, but federal investigators are certain at least three of them were, though they were still ejected from the van during the crash. The van's driver and front-seat passenger wore seat belts but weren't ejected.

The two 18-wheelers burst into flames upon impact.

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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