Seven people, including five children, died following a crash involving a wrong-way vehicle on an interstate in northern Illinois on Sunday.
The children’s mother and the driver of the vehicle travelling in the wrong lane were also killed, authorities said.
The crash occurred around 2am on Interstate 90 in McHenry County, about 80km from Chicago.
Police said the woman, identified as Lauren Dobosz, 31, who lived in Rolling Meadows, and her five children were killed on the spot.
The driver of the Chevrolet van, who was identified as 32-year-old Thomas Dobosz, was seriously injured during the crash. He was airlifted to the hospital, where he is undergoing treatment.
The children who lost their lives were aged between five and 13. Police did not identify the children by name but said they included two 13-year-old girls, a 7-year-old boy, a 6-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old girl, all from Rolling Meadows.
The driver of the vehicle travelling in the wrong lane was identified as 22-year-old Jennifer Fernandez from Carpentersville in Kane County, Illinois.
Police said it was so far unclear why Fernandez was travelling in the wrong lane in the first place. An investigation has been launched.
The car struck Dobosz’s Chevrolet full-size van head-on, and both vehicles burst into flames, according to police.