MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - One day after a car crashed into a packed church in Miami Gardens, seven of the eight injured churchgoers are out of the hospital, Monday.
Eight people, including several children, were transported to the hospital after, officials said, a car came crashing into a packed church in Miami Gardens on the house of worship’s 75th anniversary, Sunday.
The man who remains at Ryder Trauma Center suffered an injury to his head, but he is doing better, Monday, and is speaking.
Miami Gardens Police responded to Mount Zion AME Church, located at 15250 N.W. 22nd Ave., shortly after, they said, a dark-colored sedan drove into the building.
According to investigators, the vehicle veered off Northwest 22nd Avenue, went through the grass and right into the church while the pastor was preaching.
Cellphone video captured the immediate aftermath of the accident.
“Like ‘boom,’ you know? Like an explosion,” said one parishioner.
“It sounded like a bomb went off,” said Mount Zion’s pastor, the Rev. Rogery Adams.
The cellphone video showed one man on the ground outside waiting for the ambulance.
“All I heard was the impact of the car coming through the wall, and all I said was, ‘Oh, my God!'” said church member Arlene Bishop.
In a tweet, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said seven people were transported by ground to the hospital and one person by air.
The man who was airlifted to the hospital remains there Monday.
“He is in stable condition,” Associate Minister Erhabor Ighodaro said. “We understand that there are no serious life-threatening injuries, had some bruises but he still has problem with his hearing.”
Many of the victims were young. They were part of a dance group for the church’s 75th anniversary.
7News cameras captured loved ones outside Jackson North Medical Center. Family members said they are relieved all the victims survived.
One of the younger victims, 13-year-old Khamia Smalls, said it felt as if the church was crumbling around her. “I just heard something squeak, and then I saw the walls just came in, and then I saw dust,” she said.
Smalls said she and her dance team were sitting in the back pews when the bricks and concrete came flying at them.
“The debris had hit my arm, and then something hit my head, too,” said Smalls.
Victim Priscilla Jacobs said a brick hit her on the head. “All across here,” said Jacobs as she showed 7News the extent of her injuries.
“I lost hearing in this ear for a minute. It was like a disaster,” said Jacobs. “It was a little like on TV, when you see the earthquakes and things that go on. I saw the flash of my life.”
Jacobs’ family was able to keep her alert until the paramedics showed up. “I could hear them keep telling me, ‘Come on, P.J., wake up. Come through. Come through,'” she said.
“Panic erupted. People were screaming,” said church band member Brendan Adams.
But then when things calmed down, the congregation continued the service.
“Really relieved that nobody was seriously hurt, but even with the crisis at hand, the church was resilient,” Ighodaro said. “We went on to have service. The people did not run away.”
Crews towed the car away Sunday afternoon.
7News cameras showed church members cleaning up the mess, as they continued to pray for the injured. “We are very thankful because this could have been a fatality,” said Adams. “It could have been a very, very serious situation, so we are grateful to God.”
Police are investigating the crash. Some witnesses said the driver may have been cut off and run off the road by another car.
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