UPDATE: MSHP has released the identities of the children who were killed in an accident involving a semi-truck and a van.
Julia Dobos, age 6, Angelina Dobos, 7, and Olivia Dobos, 8, were identified as the deceased victims in Thursday afternoon’s crash, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report. All three children were ejected from the vehicle. They were all wearing seatbelts, the report says.
The report also says five other children were taken to the hospital, along with the 35-year-old driver of the vehicle. All but one of the hospitalized individuals sustained minor injuries. A 12-year-old child was hospitalized with moderate injuries.
The report says the van carrying the children swerved to avoid a semi-truck that was pulling on to the highway after it was stopped on the shoulder. The van struck the trailer and the truck pulling it, and eventually stopped after being caught in the cable catch-fence that stops vehicles from going across the median.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed three children died on I-44 Thursday. Two more have been taken to the hospital.
MSHP says a crash happened around 2:35 pm when a tractor-trailer on the shoulder of I-44, tried to merge back into traffic.
Troopers say the tractor-trailer was moving slowly in the driving lane.
A 38-year-old woman was behind the wheel of a white van carrying four kids, ages 6, 7, 8, and 12.
The 38-year-old driver of the van and the 12-year-old passenger are in the hospital. The three children were ejected from the van and were pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash resulted in a major traffic back up, closing all westbound traffic on the interstate for hours.
A queue of vehicles was backed up at the location and estimated by the Missouri Highway Patrol to be about 4 miles long. Traffic trapped at the scene was slowly rerouted east to the nearest exit.
Multiple law enforcement and first responders responded to the scene. Williard Fire Department, Brookline Fire, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, and Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to the accident.