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Seven Killed, 1 Hurt in Texas Crash

July 22, 2002

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DALLAS (AP) _ The only surviving member of 3-year-old triplets clinged to life in a hospital as the investigation into a collision that killed six of her relatives and another woman continued.

The crash occurred Sunday when the driver of a sport-utility vehicle crossed over the median and struck a minivan, reducing both automobiles to crumpled heaps of metal. A tractor-trailer jackknifed after swerving to avoid the wreck and may also have been struck.

Tatyana Jackson, 3, was flown to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas with head and chest injuries. She was in critical condition.

The girl’s two brothers, Tevin and Tyler, both 3, and their legal guardian and great-grandmother, Ira J. Salone, 62, were among the dead. Other family members killed included a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old.

The family was returning to Shreveport, La., about 60 miles east of Longview in east Texas, from a family visit in Dallas.

The female driver and sole occupant of the Ford Explorer, 54-year-old Kyong Leingang of Addison, was westbound when her SUV crossed the median, said Trooper Carl Davis. She died at a hospital.

Salone had been taking care of all of the children since they were babies, said Ruth Lester, one of Salone’s sisters.

``It’s hurting us. It’s devastating us,″ said a relative, Helen White of Shreveport.

Everyone in the crash wore seat belts and the triplets were in child safety seats.

Wrecks along I-20 have killed at least 33 people this year.

Previous wrecks along I-20, a major east-west artery across Texas, included the deaths of four people on July 9 in a one-vehicle rollover about 50 miles from Odessa.

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