I-65 Crash: Strangers help strangers stay warm during traffic st - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

I-65 Crash: Strangers help strangers stay warm during traffic standstill

The multi-vehicle crash happened on I-65 south at the 71 mile marker. (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News) The multi-vehicle crash happened on I-65 south at the 71 mile marker. (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News)
One vehicle was wedged under the rear of a semi. (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News) One vehicle was wedged under the rear of a semi. (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News)
Melissa Root was able to find heat and comfort for her grandkids in an unlikely place during Tuesday's traffic backup. (Source: Maira Ansari) Melissa Root was able to find heat and comfort for her grandkids in an unlikely place during Tuesday's traffic backup. (Source: Maira Ansari)
Trucker Paul Marcum offered to help keep Root's family members warm because the heat went out in her car. (Source: Maira Ansari) Trucker Paul Marcum offered to help keep Root's family members warm because the heat went out in her car. (Source: Maira Ansari)
Melissa Root's grandkids stayed warm in Marcum's truck. (Source: Maira Ansari) Melissa Root's grandkids stayed warm in Marcum's truck. (Source: Maira Ansari)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After being closed for nearly five hours, all lanes of southbound Interstate 65 in Hart County have been reopened to traffic following an accident involving commercial vehicles and a bus.

>> RAW VIDEO: Air 3 shows I-65 wreckage, massive backup

Drivers sat in traffic after the crash happened at mile marker 71 near Bonnieville around 9:40 a.m. Eastern time (8:40 a.m. Central).

Kentucky State Police said two commercial vehicles, two passenger vehicles and a Greyhound bus were involved in the crash. Multiple emergency crews responded to the scene to treat the injured who were taken to hospitals in Elizabethtown and Caverna. KSP said the extent of injuries is not known.

WAVE 3 News reporter Maira Ansari and photojournalist Dale Mader were en route to the scene and were stuck in the long line of standstill traffic. The crew noticed the vehicle behind them was having issues after the driver kept getting out and a truck driver who kept coming over. 

The driver of the vehicle, Melissa Root, was traveling with her family to Florida from Indianapolis. Root said her heat went out in her car and it was too cold to have her infant grandchildren in the car without heat. 

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A truck driver behind Root offered to lend a helping hand so the children and Root's daughter-in-law would not have to sit in a cold car. The trio jumped in his truck to stay warm. 

The outside temperature on the car thermometer said it was 9 degrees at 1:45 p.m. Root's grandchildren are just 15 months and 2 years old. 

"It means a lot," Root said. "He's a godsend. My babies are warm. As long as they are warm, I'm fine until I get to the next rest stop and get here or something for them."

"I can't imagine being out here without no heat," truck driver Paul Marcum said, adding that he had plenty of fuel, water and snacks for Root's family.

Root said on this cold day it warmed her heart to see strangers helping strangers.

"If the world was like that, we would be in a better place," Marcum said. 

Marcum said in his line of work, getting caught in traffic is nothing new.

"No sense in jeopardizing it and trying to push forward into something that you know that you can't get through," Marcum said. "So just take your time and be professional, be slow and easy."

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the crash scene was cleared and traffic began flowing around 2:45 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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