by AT News Team
At 7:45 a.m. Sabbath (October 6) a bus from Toronto carrying 57 Adventists to an event in Brooklyn tipped over on an exit ramp from Interstate 80 near Wayne, New Jersey. A total of 23 passengers, including two children, were taken to the hospital, according to the Montreal Gazette. Three were still in hospital as of Sunday in “fair condition,” said Liz Asani, a representative for Saint Joseph’s Healthcare System.
It was Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada and the group was looking forward to seeing old friends and enjoying shopping on Sunday. More than 20 were members of the Grenada Toronto Community Network, reported the Toronto Sun. “Over a thousand West Indians primarily Grenadians attended the 29th annual convention of the Grenada New York Adventist Organization at the Wingate High School Auditorium,” said a news release from the organization.
Pastor Anderson Felix from the Crochou Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grenada was the featured speaker. Crofton Calliste, the president of the organization, presented future plans, including a medical mission trip to Grenada in 2014. The evening activities included games and old Grenadian folk music.
Caribbean immigrants regularly charter busses for shopping trips to the United States, Maria Meyers, president of the Spice Islands Association and Grenada Day Association in Toronto, told the Toronto Sun. The majority of Adventist Church members in Toronto, Montreal and New York City are immigrants from the West Indies, as reported in a number of demographic studies.
One of the three bus passengers who remained in the hospital on Sunday was a citizen of Grenada and Consul General Derrick James made personal contact. The injured person was identified by the consulate as Christa Bell-Francios, age 51, a resident of Toronto.
Officials of the U.S. Federal Motor Safety Carrier Safety Administration are investigating the accident. The bus driver “told police he had been cut off by another driver just prior to the crash,” stated the Montreal Gazette. The Quebec newspaper also reported that the trip had been organized by Cynthia’s Bus Tours in Toronto which had rented the bus from Max 2000 Charter Services, and that “online records with the U.S. Department of Transportation … show that [the] company … had ‘no current operating authority’ in the United States. Both companies list the same Toronto address and phone number.”