Milwaukee pastor leaves hospital after 14 injured in Chicago crash
Tom Murray with Jay Sorgi
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MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee pastor who suffered the most serious injuries when his church van crashed in downtown Chicago has been released from a local hospital.
Police are searching Monday for the driver who caused the crash.
His congregation is counting their blessings that everyone in that van survived.
The Sunday morning praise went on as planned at Holy Temple Firstborn Missionary Baptist Church. Yet, more than a dozen from the north side congregation were not there because they are recovering from their injuries.
The Milwaukee group was on their way home from a funeral for the pastor's wife's father. Church leaders say a car sideswiped the church van. They say the van spun several times, but stayed upright. The collision injured 14 from the church. Emergency responders shut down the entire side of the stretch of the Kennedy Expressway.
Church Deacon Mitchell Campbell says Pastor Lezar Burnside was at the wheel of the church van and the pastor's wife was one of the passengers. The pastor and his 17-month-old granddaughter suffered the most serious injuries and were the only two still hospitalized when Sunday services began.
"I believe they were protected because they were in good hands," said Campbell, "because my pastor was the driver and he's an excellent driver."
"We want to give You thanks, God," he added. "It coudl have been another way. It could have been a different thing...a couple injuries to the knees, a couple head injuries, bleeding. Nothing too severe, but enough injuries to have us all concerned."
Leaders from the church expect the pastor to be released from the hospital on Monday. The Illinois State Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash.