Seven killed, one injured in crash on dangerous Texas interstate

Monday, July 22nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LONGVIEW, Texas (AP) _ A head-on collision along a dangerous Texas interstate highway killed seven people, including six family members from Louisiana.

Four of the victims were children, including two 3 year olds who were part of a set of triplets. The third triplet was critically injured.

The crash occurred on Interstate 20 on Sunday when the driver of a sport-utility vehicle crossed over the median and struck a minivan, reducing both automobiles to crumpled heaps of metal. A tractor-trailer jackknifed after swerving to avoid the wreck and may also have been struck.

``It was a tragic scene,'' said Longview Justice of the Peace Arthur Fort. ``I haven't seen this much damage and this many fatalities in my 30 years.''

Those killed in the minivan were from Shreveport, about 60 miles east of Longview. They were identified as Ira J. Salone, 62; Belinda Jackson, 48; Marisha Jackson, 14; Shanae Jackson, 10; Tevin Jackson, 3; and Tyler Jackson, 3.

Tatyana Jackson, 3, was flown by helicopter to Children's Medical Center with severe head injuries. A hospital official early Monday refused to release any information on her condition.

The female driver and sole occupant of the Ford Explorer, 55-year-old Kyong Leingang of Addison, died at Mother Francis Hospital in Tyler. It could not immediately be determined why she crossed over the median.

Everyone in the crash wore seat belts and the triplets were in child safety seats, Brown said.

Wrecks along I-20 have killed at least 33 people this year.

Previous wrecks along I-20, a major east-west artery across Texas, included the deaths of four people on July 9 in a one-vehicle rollover about 50 miles from Odessa.