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At least eight dead in Florida church van crash

The van, with 18 people on board, was returning to Fort Pierce from a weekend gathering in southwest Florida.

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Workers pull a van out of a canal at the intersection of US 27 and State Road 78 West, Monday, March 30, 2015, near Moore Haven, Fla.

Luis M. Alvarez/AP

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A church van ran through a stop sign, crossed all four lanes of a rural highway and crashed into in a canal, killing eight people and injuring 10 Monday in southwest Florida, authorities said.

The van was heading back to church in Fort Pierce, north of West Palm Beach on the Atlantic coast, after a weekend convention in Fort Myers, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

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Eighteen people were on board when the van crashed at the intersection about 12:30 a.m. Monday, said Lt. Gregory S. Bueno of the Highway Patrol. The driver and seven passengers died. The 10 other passengers were taken to four hospitals.

Among them was a 4-year-old child in stable condition. At least two patients were classified as trauma alerts, and at least one passenger had been released. The conditions of the other passengers ranged from serious to stable.

Bueno said that at the time of the crash, it wasn't foggy at the crash scene in Glades County, west of Lake Okeechobee.