A tractor-trailer slammed into a stopped van, starting a chain-reaction crash that killed three people early Friday and closed a stretch of the East Coast's main north-south interstate.

The van was stopped because of a problem farther up Interstate 95 shortly before 1:30 a.m., said Highway Patrol Trooper Sonny Collins.

The tractor-trailer rear-ended the van, killing the truck driver and two people inside the van and injuring another van passenger. Two other tractor-trailers also crashed and their drivers were hospitalized, Collins said. He did not know the condition of those injured.

The victims in the van had been returning home to Florida from a funeral in North Carolina, coroner Martin Sauls said. He identified them as Delbert Eugene Reitzel Jr. and his nephew Brett Cole Reitzel.

The truck driver was identified as Tommy Lenoir, 52, of Valdosta, Ga.

Southbound traffic on the interstate was being rerouted Friday through downtown Hardeeville, near the Georgia state line. Collins said the interstate could reopen later in the day.