17-year-old airlifted to hospital after church van flips - KMSP-TV

17-year-old airlifted to hospital after church van flips

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A spokesman for a northwestern Indiana church says the driver of a church van was being pressured to go faster by another driver when it went off a highway ramp and rolled over while packed with teenagers.

Hammond Baptist Church spokesman Eddie Wilson tells The Times of Munster that two teens and the driver remained hospitalized Friday following Thursday night's crash, while two injured passengers had been released.

Lake County police spokeswoman Patti Van Til says 12 people were inside the van when it crashed on Indiana 912 near the Indiana Toll Road in Gary.

Wilson says the van was carrying members of a church basketball team. A 17-year-old boy taken by helicopter to Loyola Medical Center in Oak Lawn with head trauma and broken ribs was responsive and stable. Another teen was taken to Comer's Childrens Hospital with a head injury. He's also expected to be okay. The coach was also taken to a local hospital.

John Frances, Principal of City Baptist Schools, says another car was tailing the van when the accident occurred.

"The students that I talked to last night at the hospital told me there was a car tailgating the van, flashing its high beams. The van sped up to get the car off its tail but sped up too fast at the exit," Frances said.

He says the students were playing in a tournament at Hyles-Anderson College in St. John Township. They were taking a break from the basketball tournament and getting a bite to eat when the crash happened.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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