INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Heartbreak for some people who live in one Beech Grove neighborhood after authorities said a family of four was killed in car crash.
They were returning from Florida.
The Warren County, Kentucky, coroner said the crash killed a family of four from Beech Grove: a mom, dad and their two sons. A family friend traveling with them in the van also died. A 6-year-old boy survived the crash and was taken to the hospital for his injuries.
The coroner identified the family as the Boster family and the family friend as 74-year-old Robert Hogan. Another driver was also killed, that person has not been identified, according to the coroner.
Kentucky State Police said the crash happened on a portion of I-65, which is under construction and where the road merges from three lanes to two.
Preliminary investigation shows a truck failed to stop in traffic leading to the chain reaction crash near the 30-mile marker between Louisville and Glasgow roads.
Neighbors, who knew the family, said they cannot believe what happened after hearing about the news.
One neighbor described 59-year-old Lonny Boster as a friendly and helpful neighbor. He cared for his wife, 48-year-old Jonelle Boster.
Another neighbor told 24-Hour News 8 that Lonny Boster told her husband about their family trip.
On this quiet street near Alton Street and South Fourth Avenue in Beech Grove, one woman who lives across from this house is left with a heavy heart.
“It just really shakes me up, you know. You just don’t know when you see somebody if it’s going to be the last time you ever see them,” said Pam Gearlds, who is the family’s neighbor.
Pam Gearlds has lived in the neighborhood for about six years and heard about the tragedy on television.
“I heard it on the news just now, but I didn’t know it was them,” she said.
She said she would see Lonny Boster in passing.
“We mostly seen him more than anybody else,” she said. “He would let the dogs out and things like that coming and going.”
She said Boster told her husband about their family vacation before they left last week.
“He told him he was going on vacation and kind of keep track over there,” she said. “But his sister or somebody was getting their mail and things like that.”
But the family never made it back. Authorities said they were killed in a chain-reaction crash.
The Warren County coroner identified the Bosters’ two sons, 30-year-old Lonny Boster Jr and 17-year-old Carl Boster.
24-Hour News 8 learned Boster and his son Boster Jr. worked at the Walmart in Beech Grove. A spokesperson said in a statement, “It breaks our hearts to learn of the deaths of our associates. We extend our deepest sympathies to their families and ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”
The 6-year-old boy injured in the crash was the son of Lonny Boster Jr. and the grandson of Lonny Boster, according to Boster Jr.’s widow.
“A little, red-headed, cute, little boy, watching him play and talk to him,” she said.
24-Hour News 8 saw a relative stop by the home Friday evening to pick up the family’s dog.
The family has set up a GoFundMe here to assist with putting their loved ones to rest.
As for the investigation, Kentucky State Police have not released any new information as of Friday night and said the investigation was ongoing.