Family of five killed on Highway 80

CRAWFORD,GA (WLTZ) — A family of five traveling through East Alabama this morning struck head in front of the East Alabama Motor Speedway by a local truck driver who allegedly was swerving to avoid hitting a dog.

Local law enforcement officials said the carnage, the images seared in their minds forever.

"There was people running from every direction pulling over to trying to help get people out of the car. It was such a frightening thing," Carrie Patrick said.

"The first responders that were here, the firefighters, the EMS, Paramedics, Deputy Sheriff, I can tell you that they’re all pretty shook up at this point. You can certainly do this job for a long time and you’re always going to see serious situations like this but they’re never easy to deal with. They never leave your mind and so we keep our first responders in our prayers because of that very thing they’re going to be dealing with this for a long time.”

Witnesses were distraught too as they described the chaotic scene where people flocked to wreckage in an attempt to free the trapped family.

"There were people running like mad to the car trying, climbing up on top where they could to try and get to the people and they just could not get to them whatsoever." Carrie said.

Matthew Popeil was one of the first ones on the scene.

"I know there was a lot of frantic crying going on because mainly the children being stuck in the vehicle,” he said.

When the dust settled, three adults and two children were dead and many questions were unanswered. Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said the accident was under investigation.

Alabama State Trooper Steve Jarrett was one of the first law enforcement officials to respond.

He said that people will take advice on all sorts of things in their life, finances, banking. On Monday, Jarrett had some advice from the professionals for drivers. Buckle up, put away the distractions and pay attention to the road ahead of you.

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