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Police identify driver killed in tractor-trailer fire

Posted April 29, 2009

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— Police have identified the driver caught in the cab of a burning tractor-trailer Monday. Austin Ausby Wrenn, 75, died after his vehicle struck a guard rail on Interstate 40, near Gorman Street, and caught on fire, Raleigh police said.

Witnesses to the single-vehicle wreck said Wren may have swerved to try to avoid slow traffic in front of him.

The truck was going 40 mph at the time of impact and left tire impressions 418 feet long, according to the wreck report.

Thick black smoke billowed from the fire and could be seen for miles around.

Traffic backed up as all three westbound lanes were closed at mile marker 296 as emergency personnel worked to control and clear a tractor-trailer fire near Gorman Street. One lane was reopened to traffic around 2 p.m., and the other two were reopened shortly after 4:30 p.m.

Eastbound traffic was congested from mile marker 290 as onlookers slowed to look at the scene, police said.

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  • BEACH Apr 30, 2009

    Poor Guy, working until age 75. He probably saved many lives by hitting that rail. Prayers for him and his family.

  • Adelinthe Apr 29, 2009

    "Austin Ausby Wrenn, 75, died after his vehicle struck a guard rail on Interstate 40, near Gorman Street, and caught on fire, Raleigh police said."

    Sounds like a hard-working guy.

    What a terrible way to die!

    Praying for his loved ones.

    God bless.

    RB

  • fairyswearboots2 Apr 29, 2009

    So sorry for his family - he lost his life and saved many others.
    RIP

  • vote4changeASAP Apr 29, 2009

    75 years old and still working. He won't get to enjoy his golden years. Very sad for his family.

  • arljsl Apr 29, 2009

    What a bad way to go. Prayers for his family.