MUNFORDVILLE, Ky. – A tractor-trailer loaded with auto parts crossed a highway median Friday and slammed head-on into a van carrying a Mennonite family, killing 11 people before dawn on a hilly stretch of interstate.
The dead included an engaged couple and several members of their family, whose house burned down in December. Two children in the van were the only survivors of the crash about 75 miles south of Louisville.
After the collision, the truck smashed into a rock wall and burst into flames. The driver, the lone occupant, was also killed.
A pastor for the family said they were traveling to a wedding in Iowa, and the engaged couple planned their own wedding for July.
“They’ll have a wedding in heaven, I guess,” said Leroy Kauffman, pastor of Marrowbone Christian Brotherhood.
Kauffman said the family was from Burkesville, in southern Kentucky. Those killed were John and Sadie Esh and some of their children and grandchildren. The youngest victim was an infant. The survivors were ages 3 and 5.