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3 dead, 10 injured in Missouri church van crash

BOLIVAR, Mo. >> Three teenagers from Kansas were killed and 10 other people were injured today after a church van heading for an outing crashed in southwestern Missouri.

The wreck happened around 10:40 a.m. on Missouri Route 13, five miles north of Bolivar. Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. John Lueckenhoff said those killed were a 16-year-old boy from Olathe, a 14-year-old girl from Louisburg and a 17-year-old girl from Stillwell. Their names were not released.

The van was from Faith Chapel Assembly of God in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Lueckenhoff didn’t know specifically where the group was going but was told it was a “youth outing.”

The van had 13 passengers, mostly teenagers but a few adults, Leuckenhoff said. Everyone on board was injured or killed when the van ran off the roadway, struck a tree and overturned. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

“Absolutely horrible,” Lueckenhoff said.

The 10 injured victims were taken to hospitals in Bolivar and Springfield, about 30 miles south. Three were in serious condition. Lueckenhoff said he didn’t know if any of the injuries were life-threatening.

The cause of the accident was under investigation by a crash team from the highway patrol.

The Kansas City Star reported that in addition to its Overland Park location, Faith Chapel Assembly of God has churches in Louisburg and Gardner.

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