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updated: 3/4/2013 7:24 AM

Kellie Pickler drummer among injured in Ky. crash

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  • Emergency personnel work at the scene of a multivehicle wreck on Interstate 65, Saturday, north of Sonora, Ky. Kentucky State Police say six people are dead in two crashes that happened near the same location in central Kentucky on Interstate 65.

      Emergency personnel work at the scene of a multivehicle wreck on Interstate 65, Saturday, north of Sonora, Ky. Kentucky State Police say six people are dead in two crashes that happened near the same location in central Kentucky on Interstate 65.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The drummer for country music star Kellie Pickler was in serious condition Sunday as one of five people hospitalized in two crashes that happened within minutes at the same spot on Interstate 65 in central Kentucky and killed six.

Pickler's manager, Larry Fitzgerald, said 36-year-old Gregg Lohman of Goodlettsville, Tenn., suffered serious injuries in the wreck Saturday. He remained in serious condition Sunday at University of Louisville Hospital.

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Kentucky State Police Master Trooper Norm Chaffins said Lohman, who also works as a music instructor at Tennessee State University, had head and neck injuries after a four-vehicle wreck in the southbound lanes. It happened about 15 minutes after a fiery crash involving a tractor-trailer and an SUV on the northbound side of the highway.

On her Facebook page, Pickler said Lohman wasn't just a drummer, "he is family."

"I believe in the miracles and the power of prayer, so it would mean the world to me, my band and Gregg's family if you would please keep him in your prayers," Pickler wrote. "Thank y'all so much."

Six people from rural Wisconsin were killed when a tractor-trailer rear-ended their Ford Expedition at about 11:13 a.m. Saturday in the northbound lanes near Glendale, Ky.

State Police said the family was returning to Wisconsin from a vacation to Orlando, Fla.

Chaffins said the tractor-trailer was following too closely to the SUV to stop before the collision. The Expedition was "totally engulfed in flames. It was totally destroyed by the fire," he said, adding, "It's just a charred mess."

Chaffins said despite snow flurries, weather was not a factor in Saturday's crashes. The two crashes shut down the busy stretch of highway for about five hours.

Chaffins said police were investigating whether rubbernecking was the cause of the wrecks in the southbound lanes.

In that wreck, the Freightliner driven by 58-year-old Mark Bowser from Lewisburg, Ohio, struck Lohman's vehicle, then hit a 2005 Saturn SUV driven by 53-year-old Victor Martinka of Glenview, Ill.

Chaffins said Martinka's vehicle then struck a 2012 Chevrolet SUV driven by Stephanie Yates, 55, of Louisville. Chaffins said none of the other drivers were hospitalized.

The wreck on Saturday happened just north of where a tractor-trailer crossed the median and struck a van carrying 11 people in 2010. In the wake of that crash, the NTSB called for a ban on talking on cellphones or texting by long-distance truckers.

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