Police: 5 dead in chain-reaction crash on Indiana interstate

Five people were killed in a chain-reaction crash after a semitrailer slammed into the back of another vehicle in a construction zone in western Indiana, Indiana State Police said Friday.

The crash, involving at least two semitrailers and three cars, happened late Thursday night when one of the trucks rear-ended another vehicle on Interstate 65 near Lafayette, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis. The crash caused a chain reaction and ignited a fire, said Sgt. Kim Riley with Indiana State Police.

Three of those killed were in a minivan, he said. The driver of the semitrailer that caused the crash was also killed, along with a driver in another vehicle. Authorities said one victim was a child.

"There are signs for about 20 miles down the interstate to tell you that you're coming into construction and that traffic is going to be slowing," Riley said. "He apparently didn't see the signs, or wasn't paying attention, started to rear-end the vehicles, basically just plowed through the cars and ran into the rear-end of the second semi here."

At least one other person was treated and released from a nearby hospital, authorities said.

Northbound lanes of I-65 in Tippecanoe County reopened around 6:30 a.m. Friday. Portions of the southbound lanes remained closed as authorities worked to clear cars and frozen chickens that one semitrailer was carrying. Lanes were expected to open before noon.

Another tanker involved in the crash was carrying vegetable oil, which was expected to be pumped into another truck.