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Kentucky church van-truck crash kills 11

A truck crossed over a Kentucky highway median and slammed head-on into a church van carrying a Mennonite family on its way to a wedding, killing 11 people, police said Friday.
Coroner Mike Swift looks over the scene of a Kentucky highway crash that claimed at least 11 people on Friday near Munfordville, about 120 kilometres south of Louisville. ((Joe Imel/Daily News/Associated Press))

A truck crossed over a Kentucky highway median and slammed head-on into a church van carrying a Mennonite family on its way to a wedding, killing 11 people, state police said Friday.

Trooper Charles Swiney said two children survived the crash with the tractor-trailer on northbound Interstate 65.

A pastor for the family in the van said they were Mennonites on their way to a wedding in Iowa. Authorities say the truck driver, who was from Alabama, was also killed.

They had a July wedding planned but they won't need that now. They'll have a wedding in heaven I guess.

Officials say the crash occurred around 6:30a.m. ET, near Munfordville, about 120 kilometres south of Louisville.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was dispatching a team to investigate.

Pastor Leroy Kauffman with the Marrowbone Christian Brotherhood in Burkesville, about 88 kilometres southeast of the crash site, said the van passengers included three children, ages 1, 3 and 5. Their father was an assistant pastor at the church. Two others in the van were engaged to be married, although they were travelling to someone else's wedding, Kauffman said.

"They had a July wedding planned but they won't need that now," Kauffman said. "They'll have a wedding in heaven I guess."

The crash is one of the deadliest traffic accidents in recent Kentucky history.

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