By AT News Team, May 6, 2015: Three passengers in a van returning from a prayer conference in upstate New York were killed when the vehicle was hit by a tractor trailer on Sunday morning. Two additional passengers were seriously injured, while two others were treated locally for minor injuries.
The seven passengers were members of the Bethesda French Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brooklyn, New York. They were leaving a three-day Men’s Prayer Convention, which was hosted by the Greater New York Conference at the Honors Haven Resort in Ellenville, when the accident occurred on Route 209.
“Law enforcement officials said the van was attempting to merge onto the highway when it was hit,” reported Truck Accident News and Information.
Police identified the three passengers who were killed as Miguel St. Louis, 17, of Brooklyn; Ricadeau Anantua, 33, of Freeport; and Garry Edouard, 48, of Wyandanch.
“The driver of the van, 61-year-old Guepson Gue of Brooklyn and 59-year-old passenger Mario Esteverne Sr. of North Elmont were airlifted to Westchester Medical Center in critical condition,” according to Truck Accident News and Information. They are now in stable condition, reported the Adventist Review.
Passengers Ario Regis, 35, and Mario Esteverne Jr., 16, were taken to the Ellenville Hospital along with the driver of the tractor trailer. The three were treated and released.
Regis said that despite the tragedy, his faith remains strong, reported Truck Accident News and Information. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a dead person alive. You are looking at one,” he said. “I’m a dead person walking.” “The guys were in terrible condition, but as far as me, I’m fine,” Regis shared, according to the CBS affiliate in New York. “We live to serve God. If we’re not serving God, we’re nothing,” he said. “Find a way to serve God.” The New York Daily News quoted Regis as saying, “We went through a terrible accident. Jesus just saved my life.”
Counseling was being offered to the families and the 100 members of the congregation. “They are going through a very, very painful and terrible time now,” the Adventist Review quoted Dr. Alanzo Smith as saying. Smith is family counselor for the Greater New York Conference.
“We solicit your prayers for the members of the Bethesda Church family,” said conference communication director Rohann Wellington.