LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A station wagon lost control on a busy highway, crossed the median and plowed head-on into a minivan, sparking a fiery crash that killed six people — including three children — in central Kentucky.
After the late-night crash in Nicholasville, police on Friday had not released the identities of those who died and were still investigating the cause, though they said alcohol was not involved.
“In my 16 years in law enforcement, it was the worst wreck I’ve seen,” Nicholasville police Sgt. Scott Harvey said.
After the crash — reported about 9:15 p.m. Thursday on a straight stretch of U.S. 27, the main link to Lexington — the station wagon was flipped on its top and engulfed in flames, Harvey said.
When authorities arrived, three people were still inside in the station wagon, and its other two occupants were several feet away.
Horrified motorists, including a woman in a doctor’s coat and stethoscope, tried to help. Some attempted to pull the van away from the burning station wagon. The van did not catch fire.
“Whoever could help was trying to do what they could, but unfortunately there was just not a whole lot that could have been done for the six,” Harvey said.
All five people traveling in the station wagon — two adults and three children — were killed, and one woman in the van died, police said.
“We don’t know at this time what caused them to lose control,” Harvey said.
The van belonged to the group Refuge for Women, which tries to steer women away from the adult entertainment industry, Harvey said. Four adults in the van were injured, he said.
“This evening has been one of great tragedy for Refuge for Women,” the organization said in a post on its Facebook page. “Our guests were involved in an accident as they were traveling back to the house from an activity. One of our precious women has passed away and three are in surgery. We are asking for your prayers.”
The bodies of the six victims were taken to a medical examiner’s office to determine their identities and cause of death, the Jessamine County coroner’s office said.
The injured were taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center in nearby Lexington. A hospital spokeswoman said she could not comment on their condition.
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