At least 11 dead in Ky. highway truck-van crash - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

At least 11 dead in Ky. highway truck-van crash

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MUNFORDVILLE, Ky. – State police say the death toll has risen to 11 in a fiery crash between a tractor-trailer and a church van on northbound Interstate 65 in south-central Kentucky.

State police Trooper Charles Swiney says two children survived the crash.

A pastor for the family in the van says they were Mennonites from Kentucky on their way to a wedding in Iowa. Authorities say the truck driver was also killed.

Officials say the tractor-trailer crossed the median and struck the van head-on around 5:30 a.m. CDT near Munfordville.

Pastor Leroy Kauffman with the Marrowbone Christian Brotherhood in Burkesville says the two surviving children were taken to a nearby hospital.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

MUNFORDVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A coroner says "at least 10" people were killed Friday in a fiery crash between a tractor-trailer and a van after the truck crossed over the median on an interstate highway in south-central Kentucky.

The van was carrying "men, women and children," Emergency Management Director Kerry McDaniel said. He said the tractor-trailer was going south on I-65 and crossed the median around 5:30 a.m. CDT, striking the van head-on near Munfordville, about 75 miles south of Louisville.

Hart County Coroner Jeff Roten confirmed the number dead in a phone call with The Associated Press.

The truck hit a rock wall and burst into flames. McDaniel said the truck's driver was killed.

Kentucky transportation officials say the interstate is expected to be closed for at least eight hours.

McDaniel said the truck was burned beyond recognition. Its cargo included automobile wheel castings.

The county's judge-executive, Terry Martin, said the stretch of interstate where the accident occurred can be treacherous because it narrows from three lanes to two for motorists going south into Hart County.

"That's where it seems like the bottleneck occurs," Martin said. "I don't know if they're just not seeing or slowing down, but it gets more congested."

Martin called it a "sad, sad situation."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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