DEARBORN, Mich. (FOX 2) - The Abbas family was traveling to their home in Northville from a Florida vacation when they were involved in a crash that ended in tragedy.
The family was hit by a suspected drunk driver on I-75 near Lexington, Kentucky. All five were killed.
Their loved ones are saying this is a tragedy that could have been prevented.
“It's like a dream, it's like a bad dream,” family friend Sam Baydoun said.
“I just cannot process it, it's hard to comprehend something like this,” Hassan Abbas said, an uncle to the father who was killed.
Sam and Dr. Rima Abbas and their three children died in the fiery crash early Sunday morning.
“This is what makes it more painful, the fact that a tragedy like this could have been avoided. But, here we are; a family of five perished in a ball of fire,” Hassan said.
The 41-year-old driver who hit them was going the wrong way on the highway, hitting the Abass family head on. Their car burst into flames. Sam, Rima, 14-year-old Ali, 13-year-old Isabella and 7-year-old Giselle were killed.
“I hope this tragedy can send a real strong message to people who drink and drive,” Baydoun said.
Hundreds poured into the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn Sunday night. The Abass family stood shoulder-to-shoulder to receive condolences.
The family lives in Northville but have had deep family roots in Dearborn for generations. Sam is a realtor and Dr. Rima is a well-known physician with Beaumont.
Chief Medical officer Dr. David Wood, with Beaumont Health issued a statement.
"We are devastated by the tragic loss of Dr. Rima Abbas, her beloved husband and children. She was a caring mother and a dedicated family practice physician. Our hearts go out to all of her family, friends and patients during this difficult time."
"This is a sad day for all of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights. I mean, we are a tight knit community and we all know each other and this tragedy hit all of us,” Hassan said.
During a time of unimaginable sorrow there was an incredible and unprecedented showing of support.
“May God give them the strength and the patience during this most difficult time,” Hassan said.
“No way you can forget something like that, no way. It’s going to sit with us for a long, long time,” Baydoun said.
The Abbas family and the Islamic Center incredibly gracious during this time. There will be another visitation Monday night and Tuesday the family will be laid to rest. Thousands of people are expected to attend.