The members of a church in Missouri are mourning the tragic death of one of its members. The 43-year-old man was taking some members of the congregation to a youth gathering on a recent Wednesday. While en route, the church van he was driving was involved in a fatal collision that also caused personal injury to his passengers.

The occupants of the van included one adult, one child and five teenagers. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that an approaching driver hit an SUV while attempting to pass it. The vehicle attempting to pass the SUV then smashed head on into the church van, causing it to catch on fire. The drivers of the SUV and the other vehicle were injured and transported to nearby hospitals.

Sadly, the church-van driver lost his life, but the passengers of the van were saved from the fiery wreck. While all seven were taken to medical facilities in the area for treatment of their injuries, only two remained in a hospital the day after the wreck. The media report made no mention of any charges filed, and an accident investigation is likely underway.

When an accident results in the death of a driver or passenger, his or her family may have the option to pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. Similarly, injured victims, or their parents or guardians when they are minors, may also pursue compensation in the form of personal injury claims. Under Missouri law, negligence will have to be proved in court before any compensation will be awarded for either type of claim.

Source: wordandway.org, “One dead, two injured in church van accident”, Feb. 12, 2015