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Seven Dead, One Hurt in Texas Crash

July 22, 2002

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LONGVIEW, Texas (AP) _ A sport-utility vehicle crossed into the path of a minivan Sunday evening on Interstate 20, causing a head-on crash that killed seven people, authorities said.

``I haven’t seen this much damage and this many fatalities in my 30 years,″ said Longview Justice of the Peace Arthur Fort.

A woman traveling by herself in the sport-utility vehicle was killed, along with two women and four children in the van, police said. A seventh passenger _ a 3 year old _ was hospitalized in critical condition with head injuries.

Those killed in the minivan were from Shreveport, about 60 miles east of Longview. They were identified as Ira J. Salone, 62; Belinda Jackson, 48; Marisha Jackson, 14; Shanae Jackson, 10; Tevin Jackson, 3; and Tyler Jackson, 3. The 3 year olds were triplets.

A tractor-trailer jackknifed after being struck by one of the vans or swerving out of its way. The truck driver was unhurt.

The accident happened at about 5:45 p.m. in Gregg County in east Texas. The highway reopened after being closed for about 3 1/2 hours while crews cleared debris.

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