Seven people, four of them children, were killed late Thursday when the Jeep they were in was crushed between two tractor trailers on Interstate 65 in Indiana.
An Indiana State Police official said the crash, which happened at about 10 p.m. near Roselawn, Ind., offers a reminder to all drivers to be extra cautious near work or construction zones.
Officials said the Jeep and one tractor trailer were northbound on the I-65 when they slowed near a work zone. Another tractor trailer came up behind them, failed to slow, and sandwiched the Jeep between the two larger vehicles. The Jeep burst into flames, officials said.
"The first responding officer indicated the flames were at least 30 feet into the air, so the Jeep was fully engulfed," said Sgt. Tony Slocum. "There's no indication at the scene that the driver that rear-ended the Jeep ever braked. There are no skid marks. We believe the Jeep was rear-ended at Interstate speeds."
First responders initially said just two people were inside the Jeep. Hours later, however, five more bodies were found inside. The victims were identified as Lindsey Williams, 27, Arielle Goldman, 3, Yazmin Goldman, 5, and Amado Mangual, 49, all from Merrillville; as well as Jamin Osborne, 5, Jasmin Osborne, 7, and Yvette Williams, 35, all from Atlanta, Ga.
Yvette Williams was driving the Jeep, state police said.
The driver of the first tractor trailer was not injured. The driver of the tractor trailer that struck the Jeep was taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Hospital in Crown Point, Ind.
Indiana State Police were still investigating the crash Friday afternoon.