(NY POST) – A family of five from Michigan was killed when a suspected drunken driver heading the wrong way on a Kentucky highway slammed into their vehicle as they were returning home from a vacation, officials said.
Issam Abbas, 42, his wife, Dr. Rima Abbas, 38, and their kids Ali, 14, Isabella, 13, and Giselle, 7, all died Sunday after their SUV went up in a fireball after being struck head-on by a pickup truck headed south in a northbound lane on I-75 in Lexington, police said.
The family from Northville, Michigan, was returning from a vacation in Florida, officials said.
The driver of the pickup — identified as Joey Lee Bailey, 41, of Georgetown, Kentucky– also was killed in the 2:30 a.m. accident.
The Fayette County coroner’s office said authorities believe Bailey was driving under the influence and that toxicology tests were planned.
Friends of the close-knit family were devastated by the loss of Issam Abbas, a lawyer and real estate agent, his wife, who was a family doctor, and their children.
“You don’t expect a whole family to get wiped out,” Habib Abbas, Issam Abbas’ cousin, told the Detroit News. “You think to yourself, ‘What’s the worst case scenario?’ and that’s it.”
Habib Abbas, 44, of Dearborn said the loving couple appeared to have it all. “They had a beautiful life, home and a perfect love story,” he said.
A statement from Northville Public Schools, which the couple’s three kids attended, said support staff would be available Monday to help students deal with the loss, according to NBC affiliate WDIV.
“Our hearts go out to this grieving family and all those affected by this tremendous loss,” the statement said.