2 killed, 7 injured in van crash near Jacksonville
Posted by Christopher Coen on October 26, 2012
A crash has claimed the lives of two Myanmar refugees in Jacksonville. Another vehicle driving the wrong way on Interstate 10 struck the minivan that the refugees were traveling in as they returned from their 190-mile round-trip jobs at a chicken processing plant. An article at The Florida Times-Union has the details:
…At 2:28 a.m. on Oct. 12, a car driving the wrong way on Interstate 10 in Baker County struck a minivan heading east.
Inside the minivan were 10 recent refugees to the United States, nine from Burma, one from Bhutan. All were on the way to their homes in Jacksonville, on the return leg of a 190-mile round-trip to jobs at the chicken processing plant.
Say Ku Paw’s husband, Kaw Lay, 37, had survived stepping on a land mine near a refugee camp in Thailand. But he was killed in the I-10 crash.
Ta Nu, 47, was a rice farmer who survived four days of torture by Burmese soldiers who beat and bound him. He too was killed in the crash.
20-year-old Nge Thay, was driving the minivan. She remembers seeing bright lights headed toward her, remembers the impact.
She tears up telling how she saw her father in the front seat next to her, once the crumpled van came to rest in the median. She thought — hoped — that he was unconscious.
Elaine Carson of World Relief, a refugee resettlement agency, said the city’s Burmese population crash is reeling from the crash…
At the chicken processing plant, [Ta Nu] worked deboning chickens. His daughter, Thay, worked there too, in the packing department.
Thay was driving the minivan, as usual, the night of the crash. She had a seat-belt on and suffered just minor injuries. Her father, too, was wearing his seat belt, though that didn’t save him.
Seven other men in the van were injured. One, Hla Sein, is still hospitalized.
The driver of the car, a 47-year-old Ocala woman, was injured but survived. Capt. Keith Gaston of the Florida Highway Patrol said no charges have been filed as the investigation continues… Read more here