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Identification of wreck victims hampered by burns

Authorities were still trying Monday afternoon to identify four motorists who died Sunday night when their car collided with a truck and burst into flames on Interstate 71 in Henry County.

Trooper Chip Perry, a spokesman for the Campellsburg Kentucky State Police Post, said it probably would be up to the county coronor and forensic investigators to ultimately determine the victims' identities.

Henry County Coroner James Pollard could not be reached; there was no answer at his office or cell phone.

State police said the car was so badly burned that investigators were able to tentatively identify it only by its Chevrolet badge. They think it was a Chevy HHR.

The crash occurred about 8:40 p.m. on I-71 just north of Campbellsburg, police said.

According to initial reports, the Chevrolet, carrying four people, was traveling south on I-71 when it crossed the median into the northbound lanes and was struck by a tractor-trailer rig.

Both vehicles wound up in the median, with the car bursting into flames, Perry said.

“All four occupants were trapped inside and subsequently died,” he said.

The bodies were badly burned, police said, and that has complicated efforts to identify them.

The driver of the truck, whose name was not immediately available, suffered no obvious injuries but complained of back pain and was taken to Baptist Northeast Hospital in La Grange for examination.

The crash and fire shut down the interstate briefly. When traffic resumed, it was limited at times to one lane in each direction, state police said.

Traffic has continued to be interrupted periodically while police investigation teams work at the scene. Crews remained at the scene early Monday afternoon, Perry said.