2 dead, 1 critically injured in church van crash


Authorities say two adults were killed and a teen was critically injured when a Tampa Bay area church bus crashed in north Florida.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that a van from First Baptist Church of New Port Richey was traveling on northbound Interstate 75 near Lake City Friday morning when the left rear tire blew out. The driver, 52-year-old Jeff Novak, lost control and flipped the van.

Several occupants were ejected, leaving Novak and 44-year-old Michalanne Salliotte dead. FHP says 14-year-old Jacob Newman was transported to UF Health Shands Hospital in critical condition, while 14-year-old Jared Leach was transported with serious injuries.

Five other juveniles between 12 and 16 years old and one adult were treated for minor injuries.

The entrance ramp to northbound I-75 from westbound U.S. 90 and two northbound lanes of I-75 were closed for approximately two hours.