BRISTOL, Ind. - A tractor-trailer slammed into the back of a packed minivan in northern Indiana late Thursday, killing at least seven people and sending four others to hospitals, authorities said.
The minivan was carrying 10 people when it was hit along the Indiana Toll Road near Bristol, just south of the Michigan border, according to Indiana State Police. Witness accounts suggest that the minivan may have hit a deer, then slowed or stopped in the eastbound lanes before it was hit from behind by the tractor-trailer, police said.
Seven of the minivan's occupants died at the scene and the other three were taken to hospitals, including two who were airlifted. The driver of the tractor-trailer also was hospitalized.
None of the victims' names has been released. The conditions of those who survived also haven't been released.
State Police spokesman Sgt. Trent Smith said early Friday that the minivan had an Illinois license plate, and the truck had a Wisconsin tag. Both vehicles ended up in the center median, blocking traffic in both directions.
"That's not to say that the driver of the truck was from Wisconsin or the driver of minivan was from Illinois, but that's where the vehicles were registered," Smith said.
No other vehicles were involved in the accident, which was reported shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday. The crash shut down the toll road, though it was reopened just before midnight.
Other details weren't immediately available, Smith said.