HARDIN COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky State Police say at least three people have died and four more have been flown to two different hospitals in Louisville after a deadly crash on Interstate 65 North just south of Elizabethtown at the Glendale exit early Wednesday.
The Hardin County Coroner has identified the victims as follows:
- Victor Chacon, 26, a passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene
- Brianna Chacon, 10, a passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene
- Tatyana Alvarez, 11, a passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene
None of those killed were wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the 1999 Nissan Pathfinder.
The driver and front passenger were wearing seatbelts and were taken to University Hospital in Louisville. They are identified as follows:
- Melissa Gonzales, 30, driver of the 1999 Nissan Pathfinder
- Victor Chacon, 49, front passenger
David McArthur, with media relations with UofL Hospital says Gonzales is in satisfactory condition and Victor Chacon was in serious condition. Family members say Victor Chacon broke some vertebrae in his spine.
- Victor Chacon, 5, passenger
- Yanzylie Chacon, 2, passenger
Both were flown to Kosair Children's Hospital in downtown Louisville. Family members tell WAVE 3, 5-year-old Victor Chacon is undergoing surgery for a broken leg and 2-year old Yanzylie Chacon broke both of her legs and suffered damage to her spleen.
All of the victims were from Chicago, and were on their way back there after attending a wedding in Florida. Family members say 26-year-old Victor Chacon, who died in the crash, was the groom in that wedding. He was driving with his family back to Chicago to help them on the drive.
Police say the collision happened just after 3:30 a.m. between mile markers 86 and 88 in the northbound lanes of I-65.
Police say the FedEx truck collided with the SUV, but aren't sure what caused the wreck.
The driver of the FedEx semi - 31-year-old George Grimes Jr. from Louisville - suffered no serious injuries, police say.
In the daylight, the scope of the crash became even more surreal. The mangled wreck of the Nissan was lying on its side before crews uprighted it and car parts and other items were scattered everywhere.
The FedEx tractor-trailer had only minor damage, with dents in around the front grille and right bumper area but otherwise it was sitting in the emergency lane of I-65.
FedEx investigators responded to the scene to make their own internal report around 9 a.m. An extra FedEx crew also came to collect the two trailers while the tractor part of the semi will remain with police for investigation purposes.
The southbound lanes of I-65 in Hardin County had opened by 8 a.m., and all lanes had reopened by 11 a.m.
Troopers have shut down the northbound lanes and several exit ramps to prevent more traffic from entering the highway.
After learning of the fatal crash involving one of their drivers, Maury Lane, the Director of Corporate Communications at FedEx, sent us the following statement:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends affected by this morning's tragic accident. Right now we have no information to release as we try to understand what happened. We are cooperating fully with local authorities investigating the accident."
The father of the FedEx driver, George Grimes Sr., says he and his family, including his son, are devastated and in shock. He also says his heart goes out to the families of the victims, and that it's all in God's hands now.