13 people injured after passenger van rolls over on Thruway
All lanes of the Thruway are back open after a van carrying 14 people rolled over Wednesday night. Thirteen passengers were hurt.
Lanes had been blocked southbound from Exit 21B to Exit 21 in Athens.
Investigators say the driver of the van hit a guardrail and rolled over around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night. The van was traveling southbound, south of Exit 21B in the town of Athens.
The injured passengers are between 37 and 84 years old. The driver was unharmed.
Four of the most seriously injured are at Albany Med, and NewsChannel 13 is told they suffered life-threatening injuries. The other nine went to various area hospitals with less serious injuries.
The van, registered to the Church of God of Prophecy, was headed back home to South Ozone Park in Queens after a few hours sightseeing in Niagara Falls.
State police say the van left Ozone Park at 2 a.m. on Thursday, and had left the falls at 4 p.m.
NewsChannel 13 has also learned the driver of the van has been identified as 73-year-old Percival Carter of Jamaica Queens. He was the only person not hurt in the accident.
Police say Carter swerved to keep from hitting another vehicle. He apparently over-corrected and rolled the van around 9:30 Wednesday night.
The church released the following statement:
“At this present time, we are supporting the affected families. We thank God that all involved are in a place to receive the appropriate care needed and expect full recoveries for all involved. We do ask everyone to keep our church members, their families, and our church family at large in your prayers, as well as respect the privacy of our church as we navigate this unfortunate situation. Thank you once again for your concern and continued prayers.”