FRANKLIN COUNTY, GA (FOX Carolina) - Seven travelers died after a collision involving five vehicles Saturday afternoon in northeast Georgia, troopers said.
Georgia State Patrol said the collision unfolded around 1:45 p.m. near mile marker 160 in Franklin County.
According to troopers, a Ford Excursion SUV was traveling north on I-85 when it crossed through the median for unknown reasons into the southbound lanes.
The Excursion struck a Chevrolet van that was traveling south in the left lane, causing that van to strike a Ford E350 van traveling south in the right lane.
GSP said two other vehicles were involved, but only dealt with minor damage from the first two impacts.
Troopers said all four occupants in the Chevrolet van were killed on the scene.
The Ford Excursion was carrying six total passengers, and GSP confirmed three of them were killed.
The Franklin County Coroner has identified all of the 7 people who were killed in a Saturday afternoon along Interstate 85.
Three people inside the Ford Excursion were killed:
33-year-old Chris Years, 34-year-old Ashley Years, and 3-year-old Luna Years, all from Paulding County, Georgia.
Three other children in the SUV were taken to Greenville Memorial Pediatric Trauma Center in Greenville. Their conditions are not known at this time.
All four people inside the Chevrolet van were killed in the crash:
53-year-old Alejandro Agis Perez, 39-year-old Noe Gutierrez Cerna, 25-year-old Oswaldo F. Hi Navarrete, 36-year-old Eugenio Santoyo Serna, all from Hall County, Georgia.
Coroner Scott O'Barr said he called in coroner personnel from two other counties to assist in the investigation.
O'Barr said it was the worst crash he was worked as coroner.
“This was a first on this scale for myself,” O’Barr said. “Luckily this does not happen on a regular basis in our county. It was an extremely tough and emotional scene for not only the family members that were survived but the family members that were on scene that were traveling behind one of the vehicles. It was extremely hard and frustrating for the emergency crews that were working the scene. It’s part of what we in public safety do is to take care of others even though we don’t know who they are and we try to do so in a professional manner. At the end of the day it’s still tough to leave a scene where such tragedy and go home to be with your loved ones. It can be tough at times.”
A fundraiser has been started for the Years family, to assist with funeral and living expenses in their time of need. Those interested can donate here.