LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The drummer for country music star Kellie Pickler was in serious condition Sunday as one of five people hospitalized in two crashes that happened within minutes at the same spot on Interstate 65 in central Kentucky and killed six.

Pickler's manager, Larry Fitzgerald, said 36-year-old Gregg Lohman of Goodlettsville, Tenn., suffered serious injuries in the wreck Saturday. He remained in serious condition Sunday at University of Louisville Hospital.

Kentucky State Police Master Trooper Norm Chaffins said Lohman, who also works as a music instructor at Tennessee State University, had head and neck injuries after a four-vehicle wreck in the southbound lanes. It happened about 15 minutes after a fiery crash involving a tractor-trailer and an SUV on the northbound side of the highway.

On her Facebook page, Pickler said Lohman wasn't just a drummer, "he is family."

"I believe in the miracles and the power of prayer, so it would mean the world to me, my band and Gregg's family if you would please keep him in your prayers," Pickler wrote. "Thank y'all so much."

Six people from rural Wisconsin were killed when the tractor-trailer rear-ended their Ford Expedition at about 11:13 a.m. EST Saturday in the northbound lanes near Glendale, Ky.

Killed were 62-year-old driver James Gollnow and his wife, 62-year-old Barbara Gollnow; 92-year-old friend Marion Champnise; 18-year-old Sarina Gollnow, relationship unknown; and foster children 10-year-old Gabriel Zumig and 8-year-old Soledad Smith.

Two other foster children survived and were taken to area hospitals. Police identified them as Hope Hoth, 15, who was transported to a hospital in Lexington with burns and a broken spine; and Aidian Ejnik, 12, who was taken to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville with cuts to the back of his head.

Barb Gollnow of Shawano, Wis., the sister-in-law of those killed, called the collision "a horrible tragedy," but said details about her family's trip that led them through the Bluegrass State would have to come from the surviving children in the family. The children did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press left through Gollnow.

State Police said the family was returning to Wisconsin from a vacation to Orlando, Fla.

Chaffins said the tractor-trailer was following too closely to the SUV to stop before the collision. The Expedition was "totally engulfed in flames. It was totally destroyed by the fire," he said, adding, "It's just a charred mess." Distracted driving is among the causes being investigated.

"That's one of the points we're looking into," Chaffins said. "We haven't pinpointed the exact cause."

Chaffins said despite snow flurries, weather was not a factor in Saturday's crashes. The driver was identified as 47-year-old Ibrahim Fetic of Troy, Mich. Police were looking at his driving logs and collected a blood sample.

The National Transportation Safety Board has consulted with law enforcement and doesn't currently plan to open an investigation, spokesman Peter Knudson said.

The two crashes shut down the busy stretch of highway for about five hours.

Chaffins said police were investigating whether rubbernecking was the cause of the wrecks in the southbound lanes.

In that wreck, the Freightliner driven by 58-year-old Mark Bowser from Lewisburg, Ohio, struck Lohman's vehicle, then hit a 2005 Saturn SUV driven by 53-year-old Victor Martinka of Glenview, Ill.

Chaffins said Martinka's vehicle then struck a 2012 Chevrolet SUV driven by Stephanie Yates, 55, of Louisville. Chaffins said none of the other drivers were hospitalized.

The wreck on Saturday happened just north of where a tractor-trailer crossed the median and struck a van carrying 11 people in 2010. In the wake of that crash, the NTSB called for a ban on talking on cellphones or texting by long-distance truckers.

___

Karnowski reported from Minneapolis, Minn.

___

Follow Associated Press reporter Brett Barrouquere on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBarrouquereAP

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Vince Neil Tries To Punch Fan At Concert, Misses Badly

    Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil became aggravated by a fan in the front row at his concert in New Mexico on Dec. 7, 2012, and tried to punch him -- but he missed.

  • Spectacular Car Crash Caught On Camera In Boston

    A former doctor of the year has pleaded not guilty to driving drunk and under the influence of prescription drugs, following this spectacular car crash in Boston.

  • Officer Shooting Caught On Camera

    An officer with the El Cajon Police Department is shot right in front of a news camera on August 21, 2011. The entire event is caught on camera.

  • 'Black Friday Psycho'

    <em><strong>WARNING:</strong> The video below contains vulgar language and may not be suitable for some viewers.</em> Mariah Pyatskowit, a Wisconsin student and mother of two who once tried out for <em>Playboy</em> magazine, recently had her day in court for a profanity-laced shopping rant that went viral online last year. She was convicted of disorderly conduct and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service, according to her attorney, Brad Priebe.

  • 'Batman' Gets Beatdown On Las Vegas Strip

    <strong>VIDEO (WARNING: Graphic physical violence and language)</strong> This video, (scroll down to watch) posted on YouTube by <a href="http://www.facebook.com/MrMarcusPace" target="_hplink">Marcus DeWayne Pace</a> of Huntsville, Texas, shows a single-round brawl between an unidentified male in a white shirt and a street performer dressed as Batman.

  • Undercover PETA Investigation

    The animals rights group PETA released a shocking video today that allegedly shows workers at a dairy factory farm brutally abusing a number of livestock. The video was allegedly taken in late 2011 and early 2012, during an undercover investigation of Adirondack Farms, LLC, in Clinton County, New York. According to PETA, their investigator discovered workers routinely used poles and canes to hit cows in the face, udder, torso, hindquarters and limbs when leading them around. A manager of the facility was also allegedly caught on video as he repeatedly electro-shocked a cow in the face. The same manager, according to the animal rights group, called another cow a "dumb bitch," jabbed it in the ribs with a screwdriver and used a skid steer to drag it approximately 25 feet.

  • Lion Tries To Eat Zebra-Striped Toddler

    A lioness at the Oregon Zoo thought she found herself the perfect meal when an Oregon family brought a baby zebra to her enclosure.

  • British Military Tank Demolishes Home

    A company in Kasota, Minn., took home demolition to the next level when they used a tank to raze an abandoned house.

  • Russian Woman Falls Asleep On Scooter

    A woman's near-death experience when she reportedly falls asleep behind the wheel of a scooter and careens into oncoming traffic.

  • Divorce Attorney Caught On Video Breaking Into House

    Raymond Van Arnam, 60, was sentenced by Otero County Magistrate Judge Gene Galassini to spend 30 days in the Otero County Jail for charges related to kicking in the back door of client Melissa Stonecipher's estranged husband’s home.

  • 'Young Woman Being Arrested For Nothing'

    In footage posted April 29 to YouTube -- entitled "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_hCd9uwsng" target="_hplink">Young woman being arrested for nothing</a>" -- Skyler Irene Waite of Alaska argues with a pair of officers over a small amount of marijuana they spotted when responding to a Kodiak home for a medical emergency. The scene became physical when Waite, who says she was reaching for the door, brought her arm closer to one of the troopers.