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Police: Driver Under The Influence Hits Church Group

August 4, 2014, 5:55 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Police: Driver Under The Influence Hits Church Group
Tyler Easley

SIOUX FALLS, SD -

A Sioux Falls man is facing DUI and reckless driving charges after he hit a van full of members of a Missouri Baptist church.

Tyler Easley, 20, made his first court appearance Monday afternoon after being arrested around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

The crash happened at the intersection of 12th Street and Marion Road.

Police say two vehicles, including a van carrying eight members of a Missouri church, were waiting at a stop light to turn left onto Marion Road Sunday when they were hit head on by Easley’s pick-up truck.

"It was loud. It sounded honestly like a crash of thunder almost," Ashley Farrar said.

Farrar was one of eight people inside a van from the Friendship Baptist Church in Missouri. They are in the area doing mission work.

Police say Easley was driving the wrong way down 12th Street and hit the van and a car. The vehicles were sitting side-by-side waiting to turn at the time of impact.

"I was just sitting there playing on my phone and the next minute I get 'slished' around," Farrar said.

Witnesses estimate Easley was driving between 45 and 60 miles per hour shortly before the crash.

Previous Story: Driver Named In Sunday Night Crash 

Easley's breathalyzer was negative but authorities believe he was under the influence of some other substance. Court records show that he recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession and was awaiting sentencing on that charge at the time of Sunday's crash. It's why Easley is also charged with violating his bond.

Police say despite the serious crash, no one needed an ambulance and no one was seriously hurt.

"If you've got a car that's stopped and another one, especially a full-size truck, that runs into it going at least 45 miles per hour I think we're extremely lucky there weren't any serious injuries," Sam Clemens with Sioux Falls Police said.

But it did shake up the group of Missouri church members.

"And then I heard crying and that was just scary because I've never been in a wreck," Farrar said.

Farrar says a passenger in their van had his leg pinned in the door following the crash, but wasn't seriously hurt.

Easley is being held on a $1,000 bond.

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