A suspected drunken driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 75 in Kentucky struck a vehicle carrying five family members from Michigan on January 7 2019, killing all six people, authorities said.
The southbound pickup truck being driven in the northbound lanes struck the family’s sport utility vehicle at 2:30 a.m. in Lexington. The SUV caught fire and all five occupants of that vehicle died, along with the pickup’s driver, Lexington police said in a statement.
The family from Northville, Michigan, was returning from a vacation in Florida, the Fayette County coroner’s office said.
Witness Kenneth DeGraaf told WLEX-TV the pickup truck was coming toward him prior to the fiery crash.
“I thought I was seeing something, honestly,” DeGraaf said. “He was in the center lane. I was in the center lane. I had to merge out of the way at the last second to get to the right lane. I mean, he was flying. Absolutely flying.”
A coroner’s statement identified the family members as Issam Abbas, 42 and Rima Abbas, 38, along with their children, a boy Ali Abbas, 14; and girls Isabella Abbas, 13, and Giselle Abbas, 7.
The driver of the white pickup was identified as 41-year-old Joey Lee Bailey of Georgetown. The coroner’s statement says authorities believe Bailey was driving under the influence and that toxicology tests were planned. The interstate was shut for hours as the accident investigation opened.
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