Six people killed in Jefferson County chain-reaction car crash

State police say six people were killed in a chain-reaction crash, that started when a tractor-trailer rear-ended a vehicle in a work zone in the north country.

It happened around 9:00 a.m. Thursday, on Route 11, in the Town of Antwerp, just minutes from Fort Drum.

State Police say the driver of the tractor trailer, James Mills Jr., 45, was driving south on Route 11, when he slammed into several vehicles, that were either stopped, or slowed down along the road. First, the tractor trailer rear-ended a Subaru, which hit a State Department of Transportation truck.

The impact of that crash struck a Toyota Rav 4, causing the SUV to go up in flames. The five people riding in that vehicle, Laurie Dana, 42, Janet Dana, 69, Catelyn Dana, 14, Lauren Dana, 11, and Shannon Planty, 14, all died.

Maryann Gregory, 59, was driving the Subaru. The Dickinson Center woman was taken to EJ Noble Hospital in Gouverneur for severe head and chest injuries. She succumbed to those injuries late Thursday afternoon.

The driver of the DOT truck, Lewis Lottie, 44, of Nicholville, was flown to University Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse for head and chest trauma. As of Thursday evening, he was listed in critical condition.

Meanwhile, Mills. Jr, the driver of the tractor trailer, was taken to a hospital to be tested for drugs and alcohol, as is protocol with such crashes.

Traffic on Route 11 was slowed because of a repaving project being done by Barrett Paving. Portions of the road run along the western outskirts of Fort Drum, home to the 10th Mountain Division.

The Jefferson County Fire Coordinator's Office, Sheriff's Office, District Attorney's Office and the Antwerp Fire Department all helped at the scene.

State Police in Watertown continue to investigate.