YEMASSEE, SC (WCSC) - The adult victim in an early-morning crash that killed four on I-95 has been identified.
Lani Tran, 27, of Maryland, was a passenger in the backseat of a vehicle that was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer, according to Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey.
Three children, each under the age of 10, were also killed in the crash, but the coroner's office has not released their names as notification of their family is still pending, he said.
Barry McRoy with Colleton County Fire & Rescue said the crash happened on I-95 southbound near mile marker 44 at approximately 3:50 a.m. Crews arrived at the scene to find the 18-wheeler and a passenger car, a 2001 Ford Taurus, off in the woods, he said. Authorities say six people were in the passenger car.
"The larger truck crushed the car and drove on top of the vehicle trapping all four rear passengers and the adult female driver," Barry McRoy, Colleton County Fire-Rescue chief said.
"[I'm] just pray[ing] for the family, of course," said Carol Burnett, of Charlotte North Carolina. "I know they're grieving. I just can't imagine. That's horrific."
"Anytime you have fatalities on the roadway whether it be children, adults, no matter the age I think it's terrible," said Judith Hickox, of North Carolina.
The four people killed were all sitting in the back seat, McRoy said. Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey said the group was from Maryland.
It's unknown how long they had been traveling on the road, or if there were any issues with the car.
A truck driver at a rest stop nearby said if the driver of the 18-wheeler didn't see the car, it would have been almost impossible to stop right away.
"If you're driving about 55 miles per hour it takes about a football field to stop," said Wayne Williams.
The woman driving the car had to be cut out of the car, and was airlifted to Trident Medical Center in Summerville with severe injuries and remained in critical condition Friday night, according to Harvey.
The front-seat passenger of the car, a man and husband to the driver, was helped out of the vehicle and transported to Colleton Medical, but later transferred to the Trauma Center at Trident Medical.
McRoy said the driver of the 18-wheeler was also transported to Colleton Medical for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
"Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. we don't typically like to travel with our family because if we're tired driving and other folks out there are tired, driving… I just don't think it's safe," Hickox said.
"We're required to take breaks when traveling long distances," Williams said. "I've seen cars going down the road all the time weaving in and out of traffic tired."
Fire-rescue units were on the scene for five-and-a-half hours, McRoy said.
At noon, traffic was backed up for 10 miles.
South Carolina Highway Patrol along with MAIT is investigating the cause of the crash. Sergeant Bob Beres said it could take weeks to figure out what caused the accident.
Harvey said the identities of the victims will be released once the family can notify extended family who lives in South Carolina. The children were under the age of 10.