TORONTO — An Ontario couple and their baby are among four people killed in a three-vehicle collision after police say their minivan was struck head-on by a suspected impaired driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 35 south of Austin, Texas.
Police said the collision occurred in the northbound lanes of the highway just after 1 a.m. in Kyle, Texas.
Officers responded to a 911 call reporting a wrong-way driver heading southbound on the northbound side of the highway, followed by another call reporting the crash.
Justice of the Peace Beth Smith identified the victims as Heinrich Martens, 31, Gerhard Hiebert Peters, 30, Margaretha Wall Hildebrandt, 27, and Jacob Wall Hiebert, 16 months, all of Ontario.
“We’re not positive, but probably, alcohol may have been involved,” Smith said.
“The extrication of the vehicle was very very difficult. The way it was positioned, the minivan was totally rolled over and so the firefighters had a tough time with that.”
Smith said she could speculate that the family were coming from Mexico after visiting relatives and were heading back to Canada.
She added that the driver of the Honda Civic, 22-year-old Wilson Rene Molinares, struck the minivan head-on and the passengers were pronounced dead at the scene.
Three vehicles involved in the collision included a Ford Winstar minivan with Ontario licence plates, a Honda Civic and a Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Police said the driver of the Honda Civic, who resides in San Marcos, Texas, is in critical condition at an Austin hospital.
Smith said the minivan was pushed into the pickup truck when it was hit and the driver of that vehicle, 23-year-old Luke Barone, was treated at the scene and released.
Two young children were in the minivan at the time of the crash and are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin.
Police said all traffic was being diverted to a nearby access road for hours as, but the highway re-opened between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Anyone with information about the collision, such as a witness who saw the vehicles or saw the accident, are urged to call Kyle Police at the non-emergency number 512-268-3232.
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