Updated 9:30 p.m. 4/18
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two children died in a major car crash in Dallas on Tuesday night.
The incident happened at about 9:00 p.m. along Interstate-35E, close to Ann Arbor Avenue. In total, seven people were taken to three area hospitals — Children’s Medical Center, Parkland Hospital and Methodist Dallas Medical Center.
All seven victims were in the same vehicle.
According to police in Dallas, an older model Lincoln Town Car was getting onto the highway when it ran into the rear of a Chevrolet Cavalier.
One officer on the scene said that the Lincoln was gaining speed when it struck the Chevrolet, which had run out of gasoline and was stopped in the right lane.
The driver of the Lincoln said that the stationary vehicle, dark blue in color and difficult to see at night, was not flashing its emergency lights.
The man driving the Lincoln attempted to avoid a crash by swerving over to the left, he said, but his vehicle still struck the back left of the Chevrolet, which caused it to spin into a light pole.
The seven victims — three adults and four children, all related in some way — were in the Chevrolet. It is not known if any of them were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
Two of the children died at the hospital, 4-year-old Tey-Onna Burnley and 1-year-old Nebriyah Bates. Both girls were sitting in the rear seat of the car. Police say the two children were not in car seats and not wearing seatbelts.
The names and conditions of the other victims, including the 22-year-old driver, have not been released.
“These babies were trapped,” says Karl Nelson, of Waxahachie. Nelson says his son, who is a Volunteer Firefighter visiting from South Texas, tried to perform CPR on one of the young victims, while he tried to help another child that he says was “stuffed underneath the seat.”
Of the four children in the backseat, only the six month old was restrained in a car seat.
There were two people inside of the Lincoln who were both treated at the scene. Their names have also not been released. According to authorities, neither speed nor alcohol seem to have played a factor in the crash.
A full investigation is still being conducted. Meanwhile, a grand jury referral will likely be made on the driver of the Chevrolet for criminal negligent homicide — she ran out of gasoline, stopped her car in an open lane of traffic and did not activate her hazard lights, police said.
“He said he looked over his left, he looked right and then there she was,” says Nelson.
Dallas police say all of the crash victims are related—but, they haven’t as yet sorted out exactly how.
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