Pair of Ky. highway crashes kills 6, injures 5

Posted: 03/02/13 at 8:45 pm EST      Last Updated: 03/02/13 at 10:20 pm EST

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky State Police are investigating whether distracted driving caused a tractor-trailer to plow into an SUV carrying eight people on Saturday, killing six and possibly triggering a serious crash on the opposite side of the highway.

Master Trooper Norman Chaffins says the truck driver told police he saw the vehicle that was in front of him and hit the brakes but not in time. Chaffins adds, "There was a reason for that and we're trying to figure out what the reason was."

The late-morning crash was followed 15 minutes later by a multi-vehicle crash on the opposite side of Interstate 65 that injured three people.

Chaffins says weather was not a factor.

The six killed were identified as members of an extended family from Marion, Wis. Two of the dead were foster children. The two survivors were also foster children.

The two crashes shut down the busy stretch of highway for about five hours. The first happened shortly after 11:00 a.m. EST on northbound I-65 south of Elizabethtown. In the second crash, four vehicles collided at the same location on the southbound side.

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