The Oklahoma Highway Patrol responded to a wreck involving a church van on the Will Rogers Turnpike Monday afternoon. The OHP said the wreck happened at about 1 p.m. near the Adair exit in the eastbound lanes near mile marker 271.
Fresh Fire Outreach Church in Shawnee says the van was one of three vehicles taking about 20 kids to a camp in Missouri. It says the group left Shawnee at 7 a.m.
Troopers say a back tire on the van blew out, and when the driver tried to pull over onto the shoulder of the road, the van went down the embankment and hit a hill. That's when the van overturned.
The Highway Patrol said ten people were in the van, two adults and eight children. Troopers said the children ranged in age from five to 16 years of age.
Everyone on board was injured - a few with some fractures and injured arms, legs and torsos. So far three people are still in the hospital being treated overnight, but six have been treated and released and one refused medical attention.
OHP said the impact of the crash shattered the van's windows and sent peoples' belongings flying, but youth minister, Eliza Robertson, said that everyone inside was wearing seat belts or was in a car seat.
Robertson said there were some bumps and bruises caused from the crash but, overall, Robertson said everyone released from the Vinita hospital will be fine.
The youth minister said she was driving another car in front of the van. She said when she saw it go off the road and overturn she immediately turned around to get help.
The group was headed from Shawnee to a church camp in Missouri and Robertson said it was their second blowout of the day.
She said some people have some broken bones, but when you see how badly the van was damaged, it's a miracle the injuries weren't more severe, so she's thankful.
“Well my baby, my 5 year old, was actually in the van, and I just began to pray in the name of Jesus, and I knew they would be okay. And we got turned around and got to them as quick as we could, and that’s all we could do, is pray and believe,” Robertson said.
They aren’t sure if the group will still try to make it to camp later this week, right now they just want to reunite the children with their parents.