Family, truck driver killed in massive wreck in Mount Pleasant area
MOUNT PLEASANT, TX (KLTV) - A fatal wreck involving several 18-wheelers and a minivan occurred Friday morning on I-30.
As of 9:45 p.m. Friday, the eastbound lanes had been reopened to traffic.
The wreck occurred at Business 271/Talco in the Mount Pleasant area. At least five people have been confirmed dead in the wreck's aftermath.
Sgt. Sylvia Jennings with Texas Department of Public Safety said the incident began when a U-haul overturned on Friday morning, blocking traffic on the interstate in the eastbound lanes.
"At about 7:15 a.m. there was a single-vehicle wreck in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 30 at mile marker 165. A truck towing a trailer lost control, rolled over, and was blocking both lanes," Jennings said, adding there were only minor injuries reported in the initial wreck.
"Traffic was backed up because of that wreck blocking the eastbound lanes," she added.
About an hour later, three 18-wheelers failed to stop for that wreck, clipping one another. The fourth semi plowed into the back of a minivan, sandwiching the van in between the third and fourth semi.
The female driver of the fourth semi was killed in the wreck. She had a Tennessee driver's license, according to Jennings.
Inside the minivan was a family of five. The mother and three children who were under the age of 10 years old were pronounced dead at the scene. The father survived, and was airlifted to a Tyler hospital where he remains in intensive care, Jennings said.
"We cannot release identities at this time until we properly identify each individual and next of kin has been notified," Sgt. Jennings said.
The Mount Pleasant Police Department released a statement on Facebook. It read in part, "This is a sad and tragic day for all involved in the crash, Mount Pleasant community, first responders, and those who were passing through our community and stopped to assist. Please keep those who are suffering in your prayers."
Each of the drivers from the other three semi-trucks and one passenger was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Jennings said those drivers were identified as being from Washington state, Dayton, Ohio; and a driver and passenger from Laredo.
Initially, all eastbound lanes were completely closed. At about 2 p.m., one eastbound lane reopened for traffic.
The remaining eastbound lanes of I-30 at mile marker 165 are expected to remain closed for "the greater part of the day," according to Sgt. Jennings. It was confirmed to be reopened at 9:30 p.m.