Five people, including three young children, were killed when their car was slammed from behind Saturday afternoon on Interstate 435 in Kansas City.
Police said their maroon Mazda had inexplicably stopped in the lane of traffic closest to the highway shoulder when the car was hit from behind by an 18-wheel truck about 5 p.m. Saturday.
The crash closed the southbound lanes of I-435 for about four hours while police investigated the wreck, which occurred near Eastwood Trafficway on Kansas City’s East Side. The ramps from Interstate 70 to southbound I-435 also were closed during the police investigation.
Police said the victims included two women, one 24 and one 17. The children ranged in age from 6 months to 2 years old.
The crash was “as bad as any I’ve ever seen,” said Kansas City Police Sgt. Bill Mahoney, a supervisor with the Police Department’s accident investigation section.
Police declined to identify the relationship of the victims until their relatives had been notified. Investigators were still trying to determine why the victims’ car had stopped in the lane of traffic.
Mahoney said the truck driver tested negative for drugs and alcohol after the crash. The driver offered a statement. He was later released pending the Police Department’s investigation of the crash.