updated 1/12/2006 2:17:10 PM ET 2006-01-12T19:17:10

A tractor-trailer rig slammed into a pickup truck on a rural highway early Thursday, killing six people, all believed to be in their late teens, authorities said.

Chief Deputy Jimmy Green said two other young adults in the extended-cab pickup were injured, though the severity of their injuries wasn’t immediately clear. All eight were inside the pickup’s cab, he said.

The pickup had pulled onto Highway 26 from another highway when it was hit at about 3:30 a.m., Green said. He said the rig, used to haul gravel, was empty at the time.

Two of those killed were students at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, said school spokeswoman Colleen Hartfield. She said three other victims were former students.

Green referred additional questions to the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s Gulfport office, which did not immediately return phone calls.

Wiggins is near Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, 130 miles south of Jackson.

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