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Two Wrecks on I-65 Claim 6 Lives

Six people were killed and five injured in a pair of March 2 motor vehicle accidents that happened just minutes apart – and at nearly the same spot – on Interstate 65 near Glendale, Kentucky.

The first accident was a fiery collision that occurred on the northbound side of the highway, according to authorities. A tractor-trailer slammed into the rear of an SUV.

Six members of a family died in that crash. They were returning home to Wisconsin following a Florida vacation. Killed were the 62-year-old driver and his wife, also 62; a 92-year-old passenger; and children aged 18, 10 and 8.

The second accident occurred in the southbound lane about 15 minutes later. Four vehicles were involved. Police believe the collision might have been caused by distracted driving, as motorists turned their attention to the flaming wreckage across the median.

Among the injured victims in the second crash was the drummer for country music star Kellie Pickler. He suffered serious head and neck injuries.

None of the other drivers in the second wreck were badly injured, according to preliminary reports.

This is from Yahoo News:

Six people from rural Wisconsin were killed when the tractor-trailer rear-ended their Ford Expedition at about 11:13 AM EST Saturday in the northbound lanes near Glendale, Ky.

[A state trooper] said the tractor-trailer was following too closely to the SUV to stop before the collision. The Expedition was “totally engulfed in flames. It was totally destroyed by the fire,” he said, adding, “It’s just a charred mess.” Distracted driving is among the causes being investigated.

“That’s one of the points we’re looking into. We haven’t pinpointed the exact cause.”

The two crashes shut down the busy stretch of highway for about five hours. Despite snow flurries, weather was not considered a contributing factor, authorities said.

An investigation is expected from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The wrecks happened not far from where a tractor-trailer crossed the median and struck a van carrying 11 people in 2010. In the wake of that crash, the NTSB called for a ban on talking on cell phones or texting by long-distance truckers.