The Latest: Michigan family devastated by fatal crash

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – The Latest on the death of a Michigan family in a Kentucky vehicle crash (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

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The death of a Michigan family of five in a vehicle crash in Kentucky has devastated their relatives and friends.

Habib Abbas of Dearborn, a cousin of the father, told The Detroit News that when he first heard about it he didn’t believe it and went about his day.

He says: “I thought it was a rumor or something and then saw it again and called his sister. She and the family are even more in denial.”

Authorities identified the family members as 42-year-old Issam Abbas and Rima Abbas, 38 and their children, a boy Ali Abbas, 14 and girls Isabella Abbas, 13, and Giselle Abbas, 7.

Abbas says Issam Abbas was a lawyer and that Rima Abbas was a doctor and devoted mother to their children. He says the extended family was close and his cousin led a “beautiful life.”

He added: “You don’t expect a whole family to get wiped out. You think to yourself ‘What’s the worst case scenario?’ and that’s it.”

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4:30 p.m.

A suspected drunken driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 75 in Kentucky struck a vehicle carrying five family members from Michigan early Sunday, killing all six people, authorities said.

The southbound pickup truck being driven in the northbound lanes struck the family’s sport utility vehicle at 2:30 a.m. in Lexington. The SUV caught fire and all five occupants of that vehicle died, along with the pickup’s driver, Lexington police said in a statement.

The family from Northville, Michigan, was returning from a vacation in Florida, the Fayette County coroner’s office said.

A coroner’s statement identified the family members as Issam Abbas, 42; Rima Abbas, 38 and their children, a boy Ali Abbas, 14 and girls Isabella Abbas, 13, and Giselle Abbas, 7.

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This item has been corrected to show Ali Abbas was 14.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

1/6/2019 8:11:24 PM (GMT -5:00)

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!