6 dead after floodwaters sweep vehicles off Franklin County road

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Photo//Indiana DNR

LAUREL, Ind. — Six people are dead after floodwaters swept two vehicles off a Franklin County roadway Friday.

Authorities reported to a bridge over the Sanes Creek near Laurel Indiana early Friday morning after a caller reported seeing headlights off the road and hearing calls for help. When crews arrived, they found the bridge was partially washed away.

Crews found a van and pickup truck and began searching for the victims. Some 40-50 first responders and volunteers were searching Friday afternoon for the missing persons.

“The water has receded quite a bit but there’s still high water in some areas,” Capt. Jet Quillen of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.

Search operations were suspended for the night due to darkness. Searchers located the final victim Saturday morning.

The victims from one vehicle have been identified as Shawn Roberts, 47, and Burton Spurlock, 48, both of Laurel. The victims from the second vehicle have been identified as Felina Lewis, 35, of Laurel and three juveniles, ages 13, 7 and 4. All were pronounced deceased by the Franklin County coroner.

“We are extremely thankful for the overwhelming outpouring of support by all agencies involved, as well as the many community members who assisted in search efforts,” said Franklin County Sheriff Pete Cates.

The crash remains under investigation as of the time of this report.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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