Five Children Heading To Disney World Killed In Fiery I-75 Crash

Sunday, 06 Jan, 2019

The church's pastor later released a statement online saying one of the people who survived the crash was a pregnant woman. Both truck drivers also died.

Three girls and two boys in the van died. He did not identify the church involved, but an unnamed volunteer from the Avoyelles House of Mercy church in Marksville and quoted in the Facebook page of U.S. Sen.

"She is pretty banged up", Eric Descant is quoted as saying in the Facebook post.

Five children from Avoyelles Parish were among the seven killed in the van involved in the crash.

Meanwhile, the Florida Highway Patrol is now investigating the cause of Thursday's crash, which has been classified as a traffic homicide.

Troy Roberts of the state's transportation department took questions from reporters Friday morning about whether the guardrail that failed to keep the vehicles from traveling through the median into the southbound lane was an engineering problem.

The two northbound vehicles crossed into the southbound lanes and collided with another tractor-trailer and the church van, leaving a mass of flaming wreckage, Riordan told a press briefing near the scene.

The north and southbound lanes were completely closed until 8 p.m.

The van was an hour north of the theme park Thursday when a tractor-trailer heading in the opposite direction on Interstate 75 collided with a vehicle and both burst through the center divider.

"Once those semis struck, they both caught fire", Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Patrick Riordan said, the AP reported. Roberts said FDOT investigators will be looking into the crash in an attempt to prevent future incidents.

FHP officials are investigating the crash and working to determine what caused the northbound semitruck and vehicle to collide. Authorities have not why they are treating the deaths as potential homicides.

Marksville Mayor John Lemoine said the accident has affected the small town in Louisiana.

Authorities say their top priority is identifying the victims so they can notify their relatives.

Families gathered Friday at Gainesville-area hospitals caring for the eight injured in Thursday afternoon's fiery crash on Interstate 75.

The aftermath of the crash closed part of the highway in both directions, causing major delays.

A large fire was ignited after approximately 50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled on the roadway.

The fire has been extinguished. The other lady is not as severely injured, but is still in the hospital. The Gainesville Sun reports some of the injuries were critical. "... We had a lot of people up there... a lot of teamwork from other agencies and from the private sector who helped us to try and sort this thing out".