Ten People, Including Nine Children, Killed in I-65 Crash in Butler County
Ten people, including nine children, were killed in a crash Saturday that is being called possibly the worst wreck in Butler County history.
Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock said the vehicles likely hydroplaned on wet roads. Tropical Storm Claudette brought heavy rain to Alabama throughout the day.
ALEA said when state troopers arrived on the scene, they discovered a total of 17 vehicles, including two commercial vehicles, were involved in the crash; seven of the 17 vehicles were on fire.
State Troopers say the crash happened on I-65 northbound at the 138 mile marker, which is between Greenville and Fort Deposit. As a result of the crash, the interstate had to be shut down for several hours. All lane were reopened by noon Sunday.
Eight of the children killed were in a vehicle from the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch in Camp Hill, Garlock said. ALEA said those fatalities included a 3-year-old, 8-year-old, 12-year-old, 14-year-old, 15-year-old, two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old. They were all from Alabama.
The ranch posted the following messages to Facebook:
The ranch is part of the Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches, which care for the state’s abused, neglected, homeless and dependent children. The Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch was opened in 1973. The girls who live there attend school in Reeltown.
Reeltown High School offered counseling and prayer support today at its cafetorium.
The driver of the small ranch bus was pulled from the burning vehicle, Garlock said, but rescue personnel were unable to reach the girls in time.
A father and daughter from New Hope, Tennessee, Cody Fox, 29, and Ariana Fox, 9 months, also died in the accident. They were in an SUV that overturned. Cody Fox was pronounced dead at the scene and Ariana died at a hospital.
Garlock said she was properly restrained in a car seat, but said the impact was too powerful.
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending 10 investigators to Butler County to examine the crash site. They are due to arrive tonight.
ALEA is asking for the public’s help in gathering information and photos regarding the crash. Please send photos/videos related to the crash to firstname.lastname@example.org or share via social media: @aleaprotects
(Facebook video courtesy of Ricky McCall)
(Facebook video courtesy of Ricky Scott)
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up for the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch.
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(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)