Bowling Green, KY Tractor Trailer And Two Auto Crash, Jun 1998
I-65 CRASH KILLS SEVEN.
INCIDENT DRAWS COMPARISON TO CARROLLTON BUS ACCIDENT.
Bowling Green, Kent. - (AP) - A truck struck a piece of steel lying haphazardly on a Kentucky Interstate Monday and the resulting collision killed seven people, including six in one family.
Four children ages 6 to 11 were among the dead.
The driver of the southbound tractor-trailer lost control when it hit the large metal object and crossed the median into the northbound lanes, Kentucky State Police Trooper Nick Stephens said. The truck hit two northbound passenger vehicles, and only one of the eight occupants in them survived.
The wreck occurred at 10:56 a.m. CDT at the Oakland Interchange in north Warren County, about 100 miles south of Louisville. The northbound lanes of the interstate were closed for about eight hours while workers removed the dead and the crumpled vehicles and authorities reconstructed the crash. Traffic backed up on the busy interstate as far as six miles.
Lt. Henry "Sonny" Cease, who headed the state police investigation of the Carrollton bus crash that killed 27 people, was investigating the I-65 wreck Monday and compared the scene to the 1988 bus crash on I-71.
"The carnage here, the destruction, is probably worse," even though the death toll was lower, he said.
Killed were six members of a Madison, Ind., family traveling in a Toyota 4Runner.
They were RALPH JONES, 29; his wife, ROBYN JONES, 29; their 6-year-old son, DYLAN JONES; and Robyn Jones' children, 11-year-old SUZETTE GARCIA and ERNIE GARCIA and ZACHARY GARCIA, who were both 10 but were not twins.
"They were always together," said Janet Hill, Ralph Jones' mother, from Madison on Monday night. "They're going to always remain together."
All six people in the 4Runner were thrown from the vehicle, and police did not know which adult had been driving.
The driver of the northbound van, ROXANNA JAKOB, 59, of Chattanooga, Tenn., also died, Deputy Coroner Dwayne Lawrence said. Her husband, HERB JAKOB, 61, was in stable condition at The Medical Center in Bowling Green.
The truck driver, ARNADO TIZON, 41, of Toronto was treated at the hospital and released. A hospital spokeswoman said he did not want to speak to reporters. Police said they did not expect to file any charges against TIZON because of the metal object in the roadway.
"I'm also sorry for the man who lost his wife," Hill said. "I hope the truck driver is OK. We heard he was hurt."
"Our prayers are with him, too. We know it was an accident. I hope he knows we don't blame anyone."
Messenger-Inquire Owensboro Kentucky 1998-06-09