Four die in van crash

Photo by Danny Tindell

Photo by Danny Tindell

ALBANY, Ga. -- Members of a Columbus church were involved in a fatal crash Sunday evening as the group traveled to an out-of-state revival, authorities said Monday.

According to reports from the Georgia State Patrol, the aging church van the group was using to drive from Columbus to Quincy, Fla., blew a tire while traveling on U.S. Highway 27 south of Blakely, causing the driver to lose control and hit a median.

Early County Coroner Todd Hunter said the van flipped repeatedly and ejected all 19 passengers, immediately killing three individuals.

"Three were pronounced dead at the scene," said the coroner. "One was pronounced dead at Early Memorial Hospital."

Apostle Ronmyka D. Williams, the 35-year-old pastor of the Tabernacle of Prayer and Deliverance in Columbus; 20-year-old Jennifer Walton, and 19-year-old Cameron Freeman were identified by Hunter as those who died immediately from injuries sustained in the crash.

Williams' 13-year-old daughter, Jasmine Shelley, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Georgia State Patrol said in addition to the four deaths, 15 people were being treated for injuries sustain in the crash.

Hunter confirmed to The Herald Monday that the passengers' ages ranged from infant to 40-years-old.

Reports indicate the victims are spread out among four hospitals in Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Among those injured were Williams' wife and infant son, who are currently being treated in Tallahassee.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

The 1987 Dodge Ram Wagon van the group were traveling in belonged to Tabernacle of Prayer and Deliverance in Columbus, authorities said. A phone number listed for the church was disconnected Monday.

Williams attended Albany State University. He had been with the church since May 2006.