A multi-produced crash accident on Interstate 65 left 10 dead in Butler county, Alabama.
The Butler County coroner Wayne Garlock stated that the deceased included 9 girls and an adult.
The horrific accident took place on Saturday afternoon due to the tropical depression that has now been converted into tropical storm Claudette which has swept across the state of Alabama. The storm brought heavy rain along with thunderstorms.
The children killed in the accident were aged from 9 months to 17 years old. 8 of the girls were in a vehicle that belonged to the Tallapoosa county girls ranch. The ranch specifically provided a home to the abused or neglected children of school-age. The non-profit organization Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches managed Tallapoosa county girls ranch and many others across Alabama.
The deceased adult died with his 9-month-old daughter who was driving another vehicle. According to the eyewitness, the weather had been bad before an hour of the crash. It wasn’t raining at the time of the deadly accident but the roads were still swamped with water.
Another eyewitness stated that the vehicles immediately caught fire, and because of the bad weather, it was unclear what exactly was the location to notify 911. The people in other vehicles tried to rescue the people on their own but unfortunately, the vehicle carrying the girls from the ranch was engulfed in flames and only the driver could make it out alive.
The driver was the directress of the Tallapoosa county girls ranch and is said to be in stable but critical condition but unfortunately, she lost both her kids in the deadly accident. She was pulled out of the vehicle unconscious but the rest of the eight passengers couldn’t be rescued.
Michael Smith, the CEO of the Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches visited the spot of the accident. He was devastated by the incident and stated “we lost eight young people that can make a difference in our world, we lost eight young people that didn’t have a chance to have their children, we lost eight young people that can’t break the cycle of where they’ve been and change it for their children.” He said that the damage is so unreal and extensive that it was impossible to recognize the ranch van.
People from all phases of life gathered together at the Reeltown High school in the east-central town of Alabama to counsel the families who lost their loved ones in the accident as well as pay their heartiest condolences.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency asked the public to come with evidence in the form of videos or pictures of the accident so the investigation can progress further. The National Transportation Safety Board announced that a team of 10 investigators was sent to the accident scene who described it as a “multi-vehicle crash” The NTSB is said to collaborate with the Alabama highway patrol to investigate the real causes of the accident.