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School Van Crashes With Student at Wheel, One Killed

November 1, 1990

MONROE, Ind. (AP) _ A van carrying a college choir group and driven by a student overturned Thursday on Interstate 65, killing one student and critically injuring at least three others, police reported.

Witnesses said the van, carrying 11 students from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Ill., was southbound on I-65 northwest of Indianapolis when it edged off the shoulder of the pavement.

The driver apparently over-corrected and the van then entered the median, flipping over several times before coming to rest in the northbound lanes, witnesses said.

The driver was an Olivet Nazarene student, said school spokesman Gordon Wickersham.

Several students were thrown from the rear doors, which flew open. The student who was killed apparently suffered a head injury when he landed on the pavement. Most of the students landed on the grassy median, witnesses said.

Three students were in critical condition at Home Hospital in Lafayette with head injuries, said hospital spokesman Mike Adler. Seven others were treated at St. Elizabeth Hospital, spokeswoman Joanne Willis said. She would not release their conditions.

No charges had been filed.

The driver, who was pinned in his seat for about 20 minutes before being freed, was wearing a seat belt. Two other students who also were wearing seat belts suffered minor injuries.

Olivet Nazarene spokesman Gordon Wickersham said the students were members of the 63-student Orpheus Choir, which was on its way to Indianapolis for an appearance this weekend.

″They are all responsible students. I know every one of them,″ he said.

The choir director, George Dunbar, and the 52 other students were passengers on a bus traveling in front of the van.

Wickersham said the choir’s appearance in Indianapolis was canceled.

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