Ten people were killed and 18 others hospitalized in the multi-vehicle accident that occurred in low visibility early Sunday just outside of Gainsville, Florida on I- 75. Pastor Jose Carmo Jr. wanted to be back in time for the suburban Atlanta church’s Sunday morning service and led two vans up Interstate 75 toward Georgia. Both vans crashed in the highway’s fog- and smoke-shrouded darkness near Gainesville.
Carmo, his wife and their oldest daughter were among five church members killed in the two deadly pileups along the always busy six-lane interstate. Their youngest daughter, 15 year old Lidiane, survived the crash but was in critical condition at a local hospital. Both daughters attended Sprayberry High School outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The high school counselor and Asst. Principal, Jeanne Walker, spoke of helping students and members of the small church where the family worshiped by providing 75 Hugs teddy bears to friends and family in the hope that this small gesture of care could ease their burden of grief.