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Van headed to church with kids on board skidded on impact in Midlothian wreck

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Posted at 8:42 PM, Mar 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-19 10:05:01-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- He wasn’t just an eyewitness, he was the driver of a van that went airborne. Juan Montes Flores described flipping twice and skidding to a stop near a busy Midlothian Turnpike intersection. The accident was violent enough to get some people eating at Chipolte and Panera to leave their meals, and run out to help.

A debris field of car parts and shattered glass surrounded the roof of Flores’ church van , which had been sheared from the vehicle’s body.

Witnesses said people inside the van were falling out into the street “They were all crying and screaming,” said Leslie Gorruso, one of those eating at Chipotle.

Flores said they were on their way to Restoration Tabernacle, traveling west on Midlothian Turnpike, when a car exiting the Chippenham Parkway clipped the van and sent it flying.

"We were on the way to church and suddenly this guy came out of nowhere," said Flores.

He said five or six children were riding in the van with at least four adults.

"I heard a boom and had to do something,” said Glen McGilvery, who ran out from Panera. "Everybody was trying to help those with injuries."

The gathering crowd sprang into action to help the injured. Gorruso helped a five-year-old boy who appeared to have a broken arm and severe road rash. "I took his shirt off and wrapped his wound. Then I took his blood pressure," she said.

Flores said almost everyone riding in the church van was taken to the trauma ward at Chippenham Hospital. Police say their injuries were serious but not life-threatening.

Police investigating the crash appeared to write a citation on scene, a scene that the driver said is proof of divine intervention. "I don't call this lucky, I call it God's will,” said the driver. “The Devil tries to do things, but God protects his kids."

Nine or ten people riding in the van including the driver. We are still waiting to hear from police to see who was charged.