WASHINGTON (WUSA) - A military family from Quantico, Va. died Tuesday night after a fiery collision, confirmed Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler.
The accident took place on Interstate 85 near Gaffney in South Carolina at 8:12 p.m. on Tuesday when 20-year-old Angelica Smith was driving a Nissan truck north on I-85. She lost control of the vehicle, crossed the median entering the southbound lanes and hit a tractor trailer head on.
The truck burst into flames trapping her husband, 22-year-old United States Marine Corporal Luther Stephen Smith, IV, and their 6-month-old son, Preston Smith in the vehicle.
"The vehicles burst into flames on impact trapping all inside the inferno," Fowler said. "The driver and passenger of the tractor-trailer were able to get out of the truck uninjured with the help of passing motorists."
Autopsies performed Wednesday afternoon showed that all three died as the result of multiple blunt force body trauma prior to the fire. The family was headed back to Virginia after visiting relatives in Alabama.
Authorities had to rely on military dental records to identify the bodies due to the fire.
"There were some military documents that were in a partially burned back pack in the bed of the truck and others that were located on the ground at the scene that lead us to Quantico," Fowler said. "My prayers are with their family and the entire military that has lost a soldier."
The South Carolina Highway Patrol and the coroner's office continue investigating the accident.