A Halloween tradition turned into a tragedy in a Mississippi town after a vehicle crashed into a tractor-trailer carrying trick-or-treaters, according to reports.
Three people — two daughters and their mom — were killed in the crash at about 7:45 p.m. Monday, authorities in the town of Chunky said Monday.
The victims have been identified as 33-year-old Kristina Shaver and her daughters, 8-year-old Baylee and 2-year-old Brooke, according to Mississippi Highway Patrol Capt. Johnny Poulos.
It was an unthinkable end to a normally beloved night in the town of just a few hundred where hayrides are a joyful Halloween tradition.
"It was chaos," Newton County Coroner Danny Shoemaker told CBS News.
The tragedy reportedly occurred when a Ford F-150 rear-ended the trailer, which was being pulled by a Jeep.
Three helicopters and multiple ambulances took the injured people to three hospitals, according to the AP.
According to local reports, at least seven people were injured in addition to the deceased. Poulos said six suffered life-threatening injuries.
Poulos said two victims died at a hospital while the third died while waiting to be airlifted.
Compounding the tragedy for the victims' loved ones and their communities is what appears to be another recent death in the family: the late Kristina Shaver had only just lost her husband.
A July 30 obituary for 36-year-old Kerry Douglas Shaver lists his wife as Kristina Shaver and daughters Baylee, McKensey, and Brooke.
That now leaves McKensey with no mother and no father in the wake of the senseless tragedy. It remains unclear if she was present during Monday's crash.
The exact cause of the crash also remained unclear Tuesday afternoon.
Following the most recent sad blow, friends showed support to Mr. Shaver's family on the Facebook pages of his parents, Tom and LaDonna Bradshaw.
"Oh my Lord ! What a terrible load y'all must bear. Bless you and may God give you the strength to get through this trying time," wrote a friend.