A 17-year-old van driver collided with the family’s van.
Six members of the same family, including two children, were killed in Texas when a 17-year-old pickup truck driver crashed head-on into their minivan while apparently in the wrong lane on a highway in two lanes, authorities said.
Relatives of the deceased said they were returning from a post-Christmas outing to a wildlife safari park when the fatal crash occurred on U.S. 67, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) released details of the two-vehicle collision Wednesday, saying its preliminary investigation revealed the teenage driver of a Silverado pickup truck was heading south when the truck made swerved into the northbound lane and struck the family’s minivan. . DPS said the area where the crash occurred is in a “no-pass” zone.
According to a release from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Rushil Barri, 28, was killed in the Tuesday evening crash; Nishidha Potabathula, 9 years old; Krithik Potabathula, 10 years old; Naveena Potabathula, 36 years old; Sitamahalakshmi Ponnada, 60 years old; and Nageswararao Ponnada, 64 years old.
DPS said only two of the six family members killed were wearing seat belts at the time of the collision.
One person in the family’s minivan, Lokesh Potabathula, 43, who was not wearing a seat belt, survived the crash and was taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to DPS.
The driver of the pickup truck that collided with the family and his 17-year-old passenger were also taken to the hospital in critical condition, DPS said.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing and it was unclear Thursday whether charges would be filed.
Rushil Barri’s brother, Rakesh Barri, told ABC affiliate station WFAA that his relatives spent the day at Fossil Rim Wildlife Safari Park in Glenn Rose, Texas, and were returning to Rakesh Barri’s home in Irving , Texas, when the accident occurred.
Rakesh Barri said his cousin, Lokesh Potabathula, of Georgia, was visiting his brother with his wife, 9-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, who were killed in the crash. He said Sitamahalakshmi and Nageswararao Ponnada were the in-laws of Lokesh Potabathula visiting from India.
“It’s so hard to take,” Rakesh Barri told WFAA, describing his brother as “my other half.”
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