A tour bus headed from Toronto to Brooklyn overturned early Saturday morning in New Jersey. The passengers were coming to Crown Heights to be a part of the Grenada New York Adventist Organization's 29th annual convention. Saturday, those in attendance at the convention were praying for their recovery. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
Instead of excitement, a somber air hung over the Grenada New York Adventist Organization's annual event Saturday.
"It was an emotional breakdown," said GTCN member Neals Chitan. "We had family, relatives that were here already waiting for their friends to come in and we tried to support them."
Those friends and family members were on the way from Canada to Brooklyn when their bus crashed in New Jersey around 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
"I had just gotten up from sleeping," said Leona Broones, a passenger on the bus. "So, you just felt the commotion and then all of a sudden, you knew that the bus had just turned over."
Authorities said the bus flipped over on an exit ramp off Interstate 80. The cause of the accident is not yet clear.
"I just hear the glass cracking, cracking," said bus passenger Donna Broones. "Then I saw it and I said 'Oh my God, what is this?'. Then I was laying on the floor."
Twenty-three people were injured. Eight were listed in critical condition, though none of their injuries are believed to be life-threatening.
Friends at the convention said information continues to trickle in but for now, all they can do is pray.
"Because we are Christians, of course, we would have a little prayer circle, hoping that God is going to look down and make sure everything happen for us," Chitan said.
The convention that the group was coming to New York for is expected to last through the weekend. Members from Toronto will travel back home on Monday and ask that they are kept in everyone's prayers.