2 Chicagoans Killed When Van, Big Rig Collide

18 people riding in van when it was hit

Two people riding in a van packed with people were killed when a big rig apparently hit them from behind, authorities said.

The van was returning to Chicago from a Georgia kite-flying convention, the Tribune reported. The crash happened around 3:30 a.m. Sunday in southern Indiana, about 30 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department said it appears that the Chevy van was slowing and trying to pull over onto the shoulder when the semi-trailer slammed into it from behind. Witnesses said the big rig had been weaving on the road just before the crash. The van, which had 18 people inside, flipped off the road.

Two people who had been riding in the van were pronounced dead on the scene. The others were transported to a local hospital with injuries ranging from minor to critical, the Sheriff's Department said.

The van had been carrying an extended family, including children.

The tractor-trailer driver sustained only minor injuries. Blood samples were taken from both drivers for toxicology tests. Authorities said they believed weather may have played a part in the crash.

The crash shut down Interstate 65 for roughly 5 hours, WTHR reported.

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