Photos from the Scene
Antwerp (WSYR-TV) – Six people are dead after a grisly car crash in the town of Antwerp Thursday morning. A seventh is fighting for his life.
State Police say several cars were slowed down in a construction zone on Route 11, near Dickinson Road, when a tractor trailer, driven by 45-year-old James Mills Jr., of Myerstown, Pa., slammed into them from behind, causing a deadly chain reaction crash.
Four of the victims were from the same family; three of them were children.
Police say the driver of a Toyota Rav 4, 42-year-old Laurie Dana of Lawrence, a special education teacher at St. Lawrence Central School; her daughters, 14-year-old Catelyn and 11-year-old Lauren; Laurie's mother-in-law, 69-year-old Janet Dana; and Catelyn's best friend, 14-year-old Shannon Planty were pronounced dead at the scene.
Another driver involved in the crash, 59-year-old Maryann Gregory of Dickinson Center, died at a hospital.
Investigators are working hard to determine just how the crash happened. Crews were on the scene for nearly 10 hours trying to piece it all together.
“All vehicles were in line...it appeared the tractor trailer struck the first vehicle and it had the domino effect and two of those vehicles burst into flames after being struck,” State Police spokesperson, Jack Keller told NewsChannel 9.
Police say the driver of the tractor trailer could have been going up to 55 miles per hour before hitting the first car, which caused a fiery chain reaction crash involving six vehicles.
Several of those cars spun out of control, one of which landed in a nearby field. Police say the Rav 4 was so badly burned it was hardly recognizable. A state DOT vehicle was also heavily damaged in the crash. That driver, 44-year-old Lewis Lottie, Jr., is still in critical condition at the hospital with massive head and chest trauma.
“A lot of people were transported to the hospital and we're getting different reports from different individuals; what they remember; what they saw and what they were wearing, so they’ll be looking into who was where and where they were placed into that line prior to the accident,” Keller said.
Meanwhile, police are looking into whether or not speed, drugs or alcohol played a factor in the crash.
No charges have been filed against Mills.