KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Investigators concluded Thursday night it was the tire that caused an SUV to flip over on I-435 with nine people inside, including seven children.
Sergeant Bill Mahoney said the tire did not blow out, but the tread separated from the tire, causing the driver to lose control. That, he admitted, is very rare.
The tire is now too shredded for investigators to determine what condition it was in before.
But 8-year-old India Page knew something was wrong moments before the crash.
"It smelled like firecrackers," she said, "There were like popping noises in the back and then the car like turned and then we went round and round in circles.”
She and her two siblings were in the car. Her 4-year-old brother Israel and her 5-year-old sister Alexandria all survived with little more than cuts, bruises and terrifying memories.
"I was scared when I fell out if the window," India said.
Their mother, Keena Gillum, wasn't in the car.
Gillum's cousin was driving.
Gillum says the youngest survivor is just 1-year-old. Firefighters could be seen carrying that child in an infant's seat at the scene.
She may never understand what her children went through, but Gillum knows why they survived.
"It was the Lord," she said, "I know it was the Lord. He always takes care of us."
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