A Louisiana faith community is in mourning after five children from the same church were killed while traveling in a bus owned by the church. The horrific collision took place on a central Florida highway January 3 and claimed the lives of two truckers as well as the five kids, who were on their way to Disney World.
Eight others remain in local area hospitals following the crash on Interstate 75, with many critically injured.
The van, owned by Avoyelles House of Mercy Church in Marksville, LA, was reportedly struck by a tractor-trailer that had crashed into another vehicle and plowed through the median barrier into oncoming traffic. The van flipped multiple times, ejecting several passengers in the process. Horrifically, many victims were reportedly run over by another vehicle as it attempted to dodge the fiery wreckage.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the children killed in the accident were Cierra Bordelan, 9; Brieana Descant, 10; Cara Descant, 13; and Joel Cloud and Jeremiah Warren, both 14.
“It’s unbelievable. Everybody is in shock. We lost five of our children,” church member Maxine Doughty told Gainesville.com. “We had our Last Supper Sunday and the pastor said to live our lives like each day is the last day.”
Tragically, Briana and Cara Descant are the grandchildren of the church’s pastor, Eric Descant.
“My Lord Jesus—Though we have lost these precious little babies—Heaven has just been beautified immensely,” Eric wrote on Facebook following the accident. “We know Lord they were always Yours! Though it’s hard to fathom that they are back in the Loving Hands of their creator, we will always love them.”
My Lord Jesus—Though we have lost these precious little babies—Heaven has just been beautified immensely with these…
According to an update from the Louisiana District United Pentecostal Church International, Pastor Descant’s wife, Karen, was also severely injured in the accident. In addition, a pregnant woman was also among those traveling in the bus, and her child was miraculously delivered shortly after the accident.
“The baby is going to be OK,” the statement clarified. Praise God for that.
I want everyone to understand that there is an error in this email. The baby was not born! The baby is still fine safely…
The notice finished with a plea for prayers at this utterly devastating time: “Please pray for the healing of those physical injuries. And, perhaps even more so, pray for that church family that has been so massively affected by this tragedy.”
Brianna Brianna Brianna—paw paw and maw maw are so sorry my baby. Though we’ll never see you at home again—we promise…
Marksville Mayor John Lemoine said that the accident was “just beyond belief.”
“It just hasn’t set in yet, to just finish the Christmas holidays and have a new year start off with such tragedy,” he added. “We are a small community with 6,500 people in town, and most everybody knows everybody else. It’s affected everybody. That is what’s so terrible about this.”
Pray for all those involved in this terrible tragedy, that they may know the comfort of almighty God through this traumatic and agonizing turn of events.