Church Van Accident Injures 17

3-18-06 - OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Two church vans carrying students returning from a spring-break trip were involved in an accident this morning that sent at least 17 people to the hospital.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper David Hellums said students from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, were riding in the vans.

No fatalities were reported, but OHP Lt. Pete Norwood said the driver of a third vehicle involved the accident was taken by helicopter to O-U Medical Center with extensive injuries.

Norwood said the accident happened on a stretch of Interstate 35 in north Oklahoma City at 5:21 a-m. He said a car going in the wrong direction hit two north-bound passenger vans head-on.

Allison Schmidt, one of the students, said most people in the van were asleep when the accident occurred.

The female driver of the car, whose name was not released, had an odor of alcohol, Hellums said.