Five killed in I-75 crashes were relatives in Ga. church


In this undated photo released by the International Church of the Restoration in Marietta, Ga., The Carmo family, Adriana, Leticia, 17, Jose Jr. and Lidiane, 15, pose at the church in Marietta, Ga. Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Patrick Riordan confirmed Jose Carmo Jr., Adriana Carmo, Leticia Carmo and Edson Carmo, not shown in picture, as victims in the Sunday crash on Florida's Interstate 75 that killed 10 people. (AP Photo/International Church of the Restoration)

Published: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 3:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 12:25 a.m.

The string of crashes Sunday on Interstate 75 claimed the lives of five relatives from a Marietta, Ga., church for Brazilian immigrants, a family friend said.

The church's pastor, his wife, one of his daughters, his brother and his brother's fiancee were killed, and another daughter was seriously injured, said Barbara Almaida, a friend of the family. All six were in a van returning from a conference in Orlando early Sunday when they came upon the smoke and fog that blocked visibility, she said.

"They couldn't see anything," she said.

Edson Carmo was driving the family in a Dodge Caravan.

Almaida and the Florida Highway Patrol identified the victims as Jose Carmo Jr., 43, the pastor at a church for Brazilian immigrants; his wife, Adrianna Carmo, 39; their daughter, Leticia Carmo, 17; his brother, Edson Carmo, 38; and his brother's fiancee, Roselia DeSilva, 41.

Another daughter, Lidiane Carmo, 15, was listed in critical condition Monday at Shands at UF.

Almaida said the Carmo family's church, the International Church of the Restoration, located northwest of Atlanta, serves immigrants from Brazil.

"We are really devastated," she said. "It's a great loss for everyone."

Almaida said a second van of church members also was returning at the same time from the Cell Vision Conference, held over three days in Orlando. Their van also was involved in an accident but the vehicle's occupants suffered only minor injuries, she said.

Members of the church plan to establish a fund to raise money to allow family members to visit Gainesville while Lidiane Carmo recovers, Almaida said.

Contact Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or nathan.crabbe@gvillesun.com.

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