Two adults, two kids, unborn child dead in fiery I-20 18-wheeler crash

- Two adults, two kids and an unborn child were killed in an intense fiery crash on Interstate 20 in southern Dallas County on Monday morning.

The accident happened just after 6:30 a.m. on the westbound I-20 ramp to southbound Interstate 35E.

Investigators do not know if the vehicle was stalled on the ramp or if the 18-wheeler had mechanical issues. But the vehicle and the 18-wheeler did collide somehow and triggered a massive explosion on the ramp.

The truck's fuel tank exploded and the fire spread to the lumber it was hauling. Intense flames stretched across the road and large plumes of smoke rose from the fire. Falling lumber also sparked a fire in the area below the bridge.

Traffic was shut down on both I-20 and I-35E while firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. The ramp re-opened about 3:30 p.m. to traffic after Texas Department of Transportation engineers determined there were no structural flaws.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was not hurt in the wreck.

During his pre-dawn commute, Evie Keeling came across the crash.

“Had that 18-wheeler hit that guardrail and reversed or started coming backwards, it could have been fatal for me and my daughter,” he said.

Keeling was driving behind the semi on westbound 20, south of downtown, and was just pulling onto the exit for 35E when the semi, further up on the flyover, burst into flames. 

“It was like a movie,” said Keeling. “It had fuel on the ground. And it was going around the overpass.  As we were riding around the overpass, it was dropping fuel on the ground.”

With his 7-year-old in the backseat, Keeling says he and the car behind him put it in reverse. Keeling was worried that the flames could reach his car.

“Once I got down off the overpass, I looked up at the truck and I seen that the truck door was open, so I assumed the person driving the truck got out,” said Keeling. “I didn't know anything about a car.”

He didn't see the actual collision and can’t explain how the passenger vehicle became lodged between the cab and trailer of the semi on the single lane overpass.

There wasn't much left of either vehicle by the time rescuers put out the fire. 

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office is asking witnesses to call in and shed some light.

Sheriff’s officials have not released the name or ages of those who died because family members have not been notified.

~

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