Three people were killed and three were badly hurt when a mini-van and a large farm combine collided at an intersection in Tippecanoe County Wednesday evening.
Some of the victims and survivors may be children, according to a report published by the local newspaper, The Journal & Courier. Two passengers in the van were flown to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and the superintendent for Attica Consolidated Schools said schools in Fountain County town are “grieving,” according to the newspaper.
According to a press release issued by the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Department, the identity of the victims was being withheld to notify family members and to extensively identify those in the crash.
The driver of the large John Deere combine, who was not hurt in the crash, was identified by police as Carl McFarland, 36 of West Point, according to the newspaper.
Several reports have been published indicating that the combine driver may not have stopped fully at the intersection and did not see the van.
Witnesses say it was the worst accident scene they had seen and called it “unbelievable” and “tragic,” according to the Journal & Courier. Traffic was shut down on Indiana 25 for more than two hours.
Rescuers on the scene said crashes between vehicles and heavy farm machinery are rare, but are usually serious when they happen.
The white minivan was trapped by the combine’s blades and responders were forced to pull off the driver’s side door to reach the six people inside.
Three people were pronounced dead at the scene and three others were transported with serious injuries. Their conditions were not immediately released.