Tropical Depression Claudette is being held responsible for at least 12 lives in Alabama as the store swept across the southeastern U.S..  Ten people, including nine children, were killed Saturday in an 18-vehicle crash.

The crash occurred about 35 miles south of Montgomery on Interstate 65 according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock.  He said the deaths resulted from a multiple vehicle collision and likely was caused by storm-related hydroplaning.

Garlock said that eight children, ages 4 to 17, were killed in a van belonging to a youth ranch operated by the Alabama Sheriffs Association for abused or neglected children.  Two other people died in a separate vehicle, Garlock to local news outlets, 29-year-old Cody Fox and 9-month-old Ariana Fox, both of Marion County, Tennessee.  Multiple people were injured as well.

Butler County Sheriff Danny Bond told the Montgomery Advertiser that it was the worst traffic he had ever witnessed.  He told AL.Com, “This was probably the most horrific accident in Butler County history.”

Meanwhile, a 24-year-old mand and a 3-year-old boy were killed when a tree fell on their house just outside the Tuscaloosa city limits Saturday.  Captain Marty Sellers of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes unit tole the Tuscaloosa News.

The deaths came after the storm battered parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and the Florida Panhandle with high winds on Saturday, tearing roofs off house and flipping an 18-wheeler as well as a mobile home.  The storm sparked reports of multiple tornadoes and as much as 12 inches of rain was reported along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Winds from Claudette remained near 30 mph on Sunday.  National Hurrican Center forecasters predicted it would strengthen back to tropical storm status Monday over eastern North Carolina before heading out to the Atlantic Ocean.

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Becky Burke
Becky Burke
11 months ago

So sad…