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US Storm Claudette Likely Behind Death of 10, Including 9 Children, in Alabama Vehicle Crash

21:20  20 june  2021
21:20  20 june  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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Tropical Depression Claudette was cited as the likely cause behind a multi-vehicle crash in Alabama on Saturday that killed 10 people, including nine children, officials reported.

a car stopped at a traffic light: Ten people were killed and several more injured in a vehicle crash on Saturday involving 18 vehicles. Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock says the crash was likely caused by hydroplaning as a result of Tropical Depression Claudette. © Getty Images Ten people were killed and several more injured in a vehicle crash on Saturday involving 18 vehicles. Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock says the crash was likely caused by hydroplaning as a result of Tropical Depression Claudette.

Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock said the vehicles likely hydroplaned on the wet roads on Interstate 65. One of the vehicles involved in the crash was from Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch.

9 children, adult die in Alabama crash amid storm

  9 children, adult die in Alabama crash amid storm Ten people, nine of whom were children, died in a 15-vehicle crash in Alabama on Saturday, increasing the state's death toll from Tropical Storm Claudette to 12.The crash, likely caused by hydroplaning, occurred on Interstate 65 about 35 miles south of Montgomery, The Associated Press reports.It involved a van from a youth ranch carrying eight girls aged 4 to 17 to crash, Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock said. The youth ranch is operated by the Alabama Sheriffs Association and is meant for abused or neglected children."This is the worst tragedy I've been a part of in my life," Michael Smith, CEO of the youth ranch, told the AP.

The victims included nine girls. One victim was identified as Cody Fox, 29, from Marion County, Tennessee. He and his nine-month-old daughter, Ariana Fox, were killed in the crash, Garlock told AL.com.

The names of the other eight victims were not released as many were in the care of the state, Garlock said. The girls ranged in age from four to 17-years-old and were on the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch bus.

The ranch serves as a foster home for girls from abusive or abandonment situations, and is supported by sheriffs of several counties.

"Our hearts are heavy today. Our ranch has suffered great loss. As some of you may have heard, one of our ranch vehicles was involved in a multiple car accident this afternoon. Please send prayers our way as we navigate this difficult time," Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch said in a statement posted on Facebook.

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The driver of the bus was pulled from the vehicle by a bystander, but the bystander was unable to go back for the children, Garlock told AL.com.

"It was too late to get back to them because the bus was engulfed in fire," Garlock said.

The crash involved 18 vehicles, and about four or five other people suffered nonfatal injuries, Butler County Sheriff Danny Bond said.

"This was probably the most horrific accident in Butler County history," Bond told AL.com.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) was notified of the crash at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday on I-65 northbound at the 138-mile marker.

ALEA is asking for assistance in gathering information regarding the crash on Saturday, through email or social media.

Both the northbound and southbound lanes were closed after the crash. I-65 southbound was reopened on Saturday night, Greenville Police Chief Justin Lovvorn said on Twitter.

"Northbound will remain closed for now. Please continue to reroute northbound traffic to Hwy. 31 or Hwy. 185 north," Lovvorn said.

Around 2 a.m. on Sunday, Lovvorn announced I-65 northbound was open as well, but reduced to one lane between the 137- and 138-mile markers. He urged drivers to use extreme caution.

The Associated Press reported that as much as 12 inches of rain fell along the Mississippi Gulf Coast due to Claudette.

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Girls living at an Alabama ranch for abused children are mourning the loss of eight 'sisters' killed in a fiery crash .
When eight girls from the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch were killed in a crash in Alabama Saturday, they were taken from the sense of family and community many of them had long been searching for. © CNN Ten people died in a multi-vehicle crash in Butler County, Alabama on Saturday. The ranch provides a home for neglected or abused school-aged children, according to the Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches, the nonprofit that manages the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch and others across the state.

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