No Cause Yet In Alabama Fatal Crash That Kills Four Angola Students

By Jeff Neumeyer

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March 28, 2011 Updated Mar 29, 2011 at 11:22 AM EDT

MONTGOMERY, AL (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The search continues for the cause to an Alabama crash that is a full-blown tragedy for people hundreds of miles away in Angola Indiana.

A Montgomery Alabama television station caught up with Richard Dame, an eyewitness to the mishap, who says the crash was so spectacular, it was like something you'd see in a NASCAR race.

The head-on collision occurred on Interstate 65 between the cities of Montgomery and Birmingham.

A southbound mini-van driven by 21-year Niall McNellis of Troy Alabama veered across a median and struck a northbound Ford Taurus, killing Riley Zimmer, Matthew Roe, Evan Weaver and Alexx Bauer, all 18-year old Angola High School seniors.

Alabama State Troopers are still preparing an accident report, so we do not have a clear picture of why McNellis veered out of control.

Richard Dame did say McNellis passed him in the left lane heading south, before he turned off the roadway.

Richard Dame/Crash Witness: " As I watched it, I was amazed that I didn't see any brake lights or didn't see any type of turn to avoid it, because it was probably about a 400-foot median, and then when the van approached the other side, I obviously saw the collision and two cars fly up in the air."

There’s some conflicting information about whether rain could have factored into the accident.

Alabama State Police say there was heavy rain and severe weather in that area at the time of the crash, but another eyewitness who contacted us by email said it was just beginning to sprinkle, and that it’s doubtful precipitation had anything to do with the tragedy.

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