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A family of five was tragically killed in a car crash when an 18-wheeler struck their Mazda and the car became engulfed in flames.

The family was traveling to Abilene to visit family members when the accident occurred near mile marker 45, north of Mathis and east of Swinney Switch.

According to DPS Troopers, the Mazda was traveling northbound in the inner lane when the vehicle’s tire blew. The car then crossed through a median and over into southbound traffic when it was struck by semi-truck.

The driver of the semi-truck walked away unharmed and his truck, carrying 5,000 gallons of fuel, did not explode.

The bodies of the family members were so badly charred from the fire, they will need a medical examiner to determine the cause of death, officials said.

The accident brought traffic to a standstill for those heading in and out of the Coastal Bend.

The highway was reopened after 8 p.m. after being closed for over four hours. DPS is working to construct the accident in hopes that they will be able to piece together some answers over the next couple weeks.

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