A family lost two sisters during a chain-reaction wreck on Interstate 20 in east Abilene Friday morning.

The girls, ages 11 and 14, were killed when their vehicle was rear-ended by a truck while they were slowed to a near-stop due to another accident near mile marker 290 just after 8:15 a.m.

During a press conference Friday morning, Police Chief Stan Standridge said a heavy utility vehicle lost its rear axle and wheels while traveling in the westbound lanes of I-20, causing it to flip then roll off the embankment. 

Motorists were merging into a single lane due to this crash when the vehicle containing the children slowed with traffic and was hit by a truck that failed to slow down, according to Chief Standridge.

The children were killed on impact and their mother, who was driving, was transported to Hendrick Medical Center and is expected to survive. 

Chief Standridge said the family is from the Big Country, but he is not releasing the identities of the deceased until their loved ones are all notified. 

The driver of the heavy utility truck involved in the initial accident was hospitalized as well but is also expected to survive.

(Story from BigCountryHomepage.com)