March 26th, 2010
07:25 PM ET

At least 11 killed in Kentucky wreck

[Updated, 7:24 p.m.] Ten people traveling in a van in southwestern Kentucky were killed Friday when a tractor-trailer crossed the median and smashed head-on into their vehicle, authorities said. The tractor-trailer driver also died.

It was the deadliest vehicle wreck in Kentucky in about 20 years, said Lt. David Jude, a spokesman for the Kentucky State Police.

Though 10 people in the van were killed, he said, two children riding in child-safety seats survived. The van carried passengers from Burkesville, Kentucky. The tractor-trailer driver who died was from Alabama.

The passengers in the van were all Mennonites traveling to a wedding in Iowa, according to Pastor Leroy Kauffman with the Marrowbone Christian Brotherhood in Burkesville. Nine of the passengers were congregants in Kauffman's church, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was dispatching a team to the site to investigate. It said the crash occurred around 5:15 a.m.

Authorities briefly closed the southbound lanes of I-65 so medical helicopters could land, but those lanes soon reopened. The northbound lanes remained closed early Friday afternoon, Jude said.

Authorities were routing traffic off I-65 at Exit 58 and directing motorists to take highways that would return them to I-65 at Exit 91, transportation officials in Kentucky said.  

- CNN's Mark Bixler and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.

[Updated 10:11 a.m.] We now have a live signal of the scene of the crash. Watch live now to see the latest.

[Updated at 9:30 a.m.] At least 10 people were killed in a wreck on I-65 in Kentucky on Friday morning, a spokesman for the Kentucky State Police said.

The wreck happened between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. local time, said Lt. David Jude, the spokesman.

A tractor-trailer apparently crossed the median and hit a passenger van head on, he said.

"The scene is really chaotic right now," he said.

The wreck happened near Munfordville, Kentucky, he said.

[Posted at 9:28 a.m.] At least seven people have been in a crash in Hart County, Kentucky after a tractor-trailer crossed the median and hit another vehicle, CNN affiliate WLKY reported.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Lisa

    I know naomi and leroy esh. They were a very sweet amazing couple who I absolutely adored. Their older two chlder were aopted from out of country their youngest they just adopted through my company in feb. He was 6 months old when his birthmother placed him. I am devestated for this child and this family

    March 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |