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7 die in Department of Corrections accident

An accident that occurred four miles west of Bullock County claimed seven lives Friday morning.

A call came into the Alabama State Police office shortly before 6 a.m. reporting a two-vehicle wreck.

The crash involved an Alabama Department of Corrections van and a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 82.

Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said state police are conducting the investigation into the wreck.

“We are not releasing any names of the deceased yet,” Corbett said. “We will after they are identified officially.”

The fatalities all came from the van, and the driver of the tractor-trailer received non-life threatening injuries.

State police spokesman John Reese said the driver of the truck hauling wood products, Andrew David Carter, 31, of Tifton, Ga., was taken to a Montgomery hospital.

“The van caught fire as a result of the accident,” Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Dorris Teague said. “The van was not carrying inmates. I believe the passengers were applicants for the Department of Corrections.”

The bodies were transported to the Department of Forensic Science in Montgomery, Teague said.

“The crash was horrendous enough, but the fire added to the tragedy,” said Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright, who went to the scene.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.