THE BRONX -- Just before 4:30 in the afternoon and the sidewalk in front of the Friendship Community Church was filled with people when suddenly, police say, Honda CRV heading south on Southern Boulevard jumped the curb, flipped over and crashed into the church’s guard rail.
Police say the overturned car had an 11-year-old boy inside and two adults, including the driver.
Six pedestrians were also hurt, including a two-year-old boy, three women and two men.
When the deacon and his wife came out of the church they both saw bodies on the sidewalk and said a prayer.
“It was by the grace of God that it happened here, right by the wooden cross, and there was no loss of life,” Kenneth Goodson, the church’s deacon, told PIX11 News.
“It was a miracle where it happened,” Katrina Goodson, the deacon's wife added.
All nine victims were taken to nearby hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Church members called it a miracle that the injuries were all minor because at that time of day, a popular community outreach program usually sets up a tent to help recent refugees settle into their new neighborhood in the Bronx.
“There were actually two miracles,” Maurice Jones, a church member,” told PIX11 News. “There is usually a tent filled with people and the second miracle is that the van hit the guardrail. Otherwise, it would have gone into the church,” he added.
Police do not believe any criminality is suspected so no charges have been filed against the driver.