BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (KDKA) — A mini-van carrying six people from two Washington Co. churches was involved in Friday night highway crash on I-79 near Bridgeport, West Virginia.
Their van, on a mission of faith, was struck by truck that was traveling in the opposite direction and crossed the median.
Two passengers – students at Canon McMillan High School – and a 41-year-old mother of three who was driving the van were killed in the accident.
They were identified as students Faith Dowler and Breanna Affrica, and van driver Rhoda Malone.
Rhianna Browell – another Canon McMillan student – was on the church trip with the others at the time of the crash.
“Bria was awesome, she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind; she was amazing and wasn’t afraid to talk about God,” Browell said. “Faith was really sweet, a great poet; she entered into a number of art and writing competitions. And Rhoda was kind of like a mom at the church, she kept us all in line, giving us tough love when we needed it.”
“Their whole intention was to go down and be a blessing to the community, help those in need and and let people know what Christ has done I their lives,” said Pastor Nathan Miller of the Champion Christian Center in Canonsburg.
Joseph Sanpietro, Breanna’s grandfather, said his granddaughter wanted to go to a Christian college, and become a minister. He described her as “a precious girl, just a wonderful child.”
“I’m done with words… I can’t believe this happened, she just turned 17 last month,” he said.
Sarah Stanek, who described herself as Faith’s best friend, attended a church service Saturday evening at the Central Assembly of God church.
“I might cry for Faith today, but I just didn’t lose one person… I lost two people who were very close to me in the body of Christ, but, I know where they are. And I will be with them one day,” Stanek said.