UPDATED: 8/16/2013 2:25 p.m.
ROSELAWN, Ind. (CBS) – Seven people were killed in a horrific crash along Interstate 65 in northwest Indiana overnight.
The victims included four Merrillville residents and three from Atlanta, Ga.
Four of the dead were children.
WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports the crash happened around 10 p.m. Thursday, in Newton County, about 30 miles south of Gary, when an SUV was pinned between two semi-tractor trailer trucks.
Police said the SUV might have been stopped in a construction zone, when one truck hit it from behind, pushing it into the back of another truck.
The SUV caught fire, and was so badly damaged, crews had to remove it from between the trucks before determining how many bodies were inside.
The truck drivers suffered only minor injuries.
The wreck forced police to close the highway for several hours. I-65 reopened to traffic around 6:30 a.m. Friday.
The dead were identified by Jasper County Coroner Andy Boersman as Amado Mangual, 49, Lindsey Williams, 27, Yazmin Goldman, 5, and Arielle Goldman, 3, all of Merrillville. Jamin Osborne, 5, Jasmin Osborne, 7, and Yvette Williams, 35, all of Atlanta, Ga., were also killed.
Yvette Williams was driving the Jeep, state police said.
Yazmin and Arielle attended a day care in Merrillville.
Their teachers were struggling to cope with the tragedy.
“A lot of tears,” said Andrea Taylor.
“I want them to be remembered as wonderful children who loved school, loved learning and loved each other.”