LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police say three people were killed after a crash on I-64 West near Hurstbourne Lane..
The area was initially shut down Saturday night as emergency crews responded to the scene.
Two vehicles were traveling west on I-64 collided around 10:15 p.m., according to LMPD spokesperson Alicia Smiley. One of those two vehicles was then struck by a third vehicle, causing a fire.
Officials say all lanes of I-64 West were reopened after the crash on Sunday just after 4:30 a.m.
Officials at Clarksville Elementary School says a fourth grader there, Lauren Owens, died in the crash.
Her sister, Samantha, and her nephew, Liam, also died.
"She was definitely one of our most spirited students at Clarksville High School," said Bridget Applegate, who graduated with Samantha in 2012.
"It was just such a pleasure to watch her grow into a woman and have this beautiful son. And, we're all really proud of her."
That son, Liam, was the nephew who was also in the car when it burst into flames.
"You're just in a shock. And it still seems surreal. I don't think any of us have processed what's happened," Applegate said.
Smiley says a preliminary investigation shows that a Toyota van heading west on I-64 was hit by a white Hyundai. After the crash, the Hyundai became disabled and stopped, at which point it was hit by a maroon Hyundai that was also traveling west.
Police say the impact of the crash caused the white Hyundai to hit the center concrete barrier, before it came to a rest in the left emergency shoulder.
Officials say the driver of the white Hyundai exited the vehicle and was speaking with the driver of the Toyota van when the white Hyundai caught fire. Police say Lauren Owens, Samantha Owens and her son, Liam, who were still inside the white Hyundai, all died at the scene.
The drivers of both the white and maroon Hyundais were taken to University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police. Investigators also say no one inside the Toyota van was hurt.
The Clarksville Police Department released a statement Sunday:
The Clarksville community suffered a great loss with the recent car crash in Kentucky that resulted in the deaths of three of our own. Samantha Owens, Lauren Owens and Liam the infant son of Samantha Owens were the victims of a fatality crash along 64 West and Hurstborne Lane.
The family has released the names to allow proper notification to family, friends and the community. The Clarksville Community School is taking steps to address concerns of the class mates and staff who knew Samantha and Lauren.
The Police Department has received several requests on how and where people may donate to assist with arrangements for the family. We are confirming how the family would like to handle those donations and we will post how to help on the Police Department’s Facebook page.
Friends set up a GoFundMe page to help the family of the victims. Within hours, the page raised more than double the $5,000 goal.
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