Local News

Police identify driver killed in tractor-trailer fire

Posted April 29, 2009 4:20 p.m. EDT

— 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.