Van driver still in hospital in serious condition

The driver in a Sunday roll-over accident on Interstate 5 near Patterson remains in serious condition at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.

Information on the conditions of the nine other people, including eight children, in the 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan was not available Tuesday. A previous report saying there were nine people in the minivan was incorrect.

California Highway Patrol officer Eric Parsons said driver Nathaniel Atkins, 46, and front-seat passenger Felice Atkins, 36, were wearing seat belts. The eight children weren't, and seven of them were thrown from the minivan when it rolled, Parsons said.

"Obviously, we are going to have to look at why the children were not restrained," Parsons said.

He said the minivan was traveling south on the interstate just south of Sperry Avenue about noon when Nathaniel Atkins lost control when one of the tires blew.

The minivan rolled down an embankment and came to a stop on its roof in the median. Parsons said the southbound lanes are higher than the northbound lanes on that stretch of the interstate.

He said everyone in the minivan has the same address in Maricopa, Ariz. Officers haven't determined the relationships among the injured but assume they are related.

The injuries ranged from minor to critical. The 10 were taken to hospitals in Modesto and Turlock.

The CHP said Felice Atkins was taken to Memorial Medical Center, but she was not listed there as a patient Tuesday. The children are 4 to 15 years old. The last name of six of them is Atkins; the last name of the other two is Brown.