Macon County coroner Wendell Cloud identified the child as Angel Zaragoza, of Hapeville, Georgia, just north of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Alabama State Troopers identified the man as Roberto Linares, 55, of Montgomery, Alabama.
Three passengers in the same 2001 Toyota Sienna minivan involved in the crash were also injured. AL.com reports that those motorists were hospitalized but their condition has not been reported.
The crash occurred around 6:30 p.m. about two miles north of Shorter. Reports say that a 2011 Freightliner tractor-trailer collided with the back of the Sienna minivan, forcing it into the back of a 2014 Ford Focus.
The crash remains under investigation and authorities have not indicated what caused the crash or how fast the vehicles were traveling at the time. Authorities did say that Mr. Linares was not wearing a seat belt. The child was properly secured in a child-restraint seat.
AL.com reports that another collision occurred after the fatal crash and damaged a bridge support on I-85 near scene of the fatal crash. It is not clear whether the second crash was connected to the deadly collision earlier.
State authorities closed the interstate between the 22 and 26 mile markers until crews could repair the damaged structure.
A GoFundMe page was set up for the funeral expenses for Angel and had exceeded its $8,000 goal by Tuesday, March 14. The donation page said that Angel’s family is not economically prepared for to handle the tragic event.