Fiery 17-Vehicle Crash Involving Two Big Rigs Claims Ten Lives Including Nine Children
Butler County, AL – A fiery crash involving more than a dozen passenger vehicles and two big rigs claimed the lives of ten people on Saturday along an Alabama interstate.
The horrific scene unfolded at approximately 2:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 near the 138 mile marker.
Investigators with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol Division arrived to the scene to discover a total of 17 vehicles, including two commercial motor vehicles (CMV), involved in the crash with seven of the vehicles ablaze.
One of those vehicles was a van owned by the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch.
The organization says its mission is to offer a home to “Alabama’s needy, neglected, or abused, school-age children.”
First responders were able to drag the driver of the van from the burning vehicle.
However, sadly, eight girls inside the van perished in the crash and were pronounced dead at the scene.
ALEA only identified them as a 3-year-old, 8-year-old, 12-year-old, 14-year-old, 15-year-old, two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old.
“Our hearts are heavy today,” said the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch in a social media post. “Our ranch has suffered great loss.”
Also killed in the accident was Cody Fox, 29, of New Hope, Tennessee, and his 9-month-old daughter.
WATCH aerial video from the crash site below.
The tragic accident has also prompted an outpouring of well wishes from state leaders.
“Yesterday was a tragic day for our state,” Governor Kay Ivey said on Sunday. “My heart goes out to the loved ones of all who perished during the storm in Butler & Tuscaloosa counties. Let’s keep these families, communities & first responders lifted in prayer.”
Freshman Senator Tommy Tuberville stated, “No words can comfort the families and loved ones of these children during this tragedy. My family, staff, and the people of Alabama are praying for peace and comfort for all affected during this unimaginable time.”
The White House also released a statement.
“We’re mourning the tragic loss of life that occurred in yesterday’s accident in Butler County — and we join all Alabamians in praying for the loved ones of those impacted by this horrific incident. We’re continuing to monitor the severe weather impacting the Southeast, in contact with local officials, and stand ready to assist.”
ALEA indicated on Sunday that the crash remains under investigation as reports of possible hydroplaning due to heavy rainfall in the area led to the pileup.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) indicated a team of 10 investigators were set to arrive to the crash site on Sunday evening.
Further, the NTSB said its investigation will “focus on vehicle technologies such as forward collision warning systems, CMV fuel tank integrity, motor carrier operations and occupant survivability.”
TransportationNation.com will continue to track this investigation as it unfolds.