At least one person was killed and 15 others were injured, some critically, when a van carrying mostly college-age members of a Colorado church overturned on black ice early Thursday in eastern Oregon.
Most of the passengers were ejected when the van rolled several times before coming to a rest near the center median of Interstate 84 near Baker City, according to the Oregon State Police.
Five were taken to a hospital in Boise, Idaho; three were taken to a hospital in La Grande, Ore.; and seven were treated and released from St. Elizabeth Health Services in Baker City, officials said.
In addition, one male passenger died shortly after arrival at St. Elizabeth, said Lt. Gregg Hastings, state police spokesman.
The nine women and seven men were members of the Rocky Mountain Masters Commission, a training program affiliated with the New Life Worship Center in Federal Heights, Colo., said Christy Gimer, center spokeswoman.
Gimer said about a third of the people in the van were from the Denver area. Others were from Florida and Utah, and one woman was from Iraq. She declined to provide names or conditions of any of the survivors. But she said a prayer vigil was scheduled at the church Thursday night and a fund was set up at a local bank to help the families.
Gimer said the group was on its way to a conference in Portland to earn money working as ushers and doing other tasks.
She described the New Life Worship Center as a church facility where students live in dorms, take classes and earn their minister's license. She said 10 students stayed behind and didn't make the trip to Oregon. Grief counselors were being provided to those students.
"People here are devastated," Gimer said. "They are gathering in the church for prayers. We are going to keep the church open throughout the evening for them."
The accident occurred at about 5:20 a.m. when the 2002 Ford van encountered icy conditions on the freeway that links Oregon to Idaho.
The female driver was wearing a seat belt and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. But 14 of the 16 people aboard were ejected, troopers said.
State police said four passengers who suffered critical injuries were flown to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. Amy Dunkak, spokeswoman for St. Elizabeth Health Services, said one other passenger was also taken to Boise for treatment.
The Rev. John Privett of the Baker City Church of the Nazarene said he was putting up seven of the survivors in his home, and that local people had donated food, medicine and clothing.
"They are all pretty shook up," Privett said of the survivors. "These guys are grieving and cried all day.
"There are broken legs and bones, backs, ankles, elbows," he added.
Associated Press Writers Judith Kohler in Denver, Jeff Barnard in Grants Pass, Ore., Brad Cain in Salem, Ore., and Steven DuBois in Portland contributed to this report.