TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Authorities say four people are dead after a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of a car and then hit a flatbed truck hauling steel bars in western Indiana.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts tells the Tribune-Star (http://bit.ly/2qhzoNO ) the car erupted into flames after it was hit Saturday evening along Interstate 70 west of Terre Haute. Three occupants in the car were killed.

Watts says the tractor-trailer then hit the Maverick flatbed truck, and steel bars on the flatbed skewered the tractor-trailer, killing the driver.

Watts says the accident occurred as traffic slowed in the eastbound lanes because of an active fire. Watts says the tractor-trailer failed to slow before rear-ending the car.

The accident closed the eastbound lanes of I-70 in the area, creating long traffic backups.

Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com