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One driver indentified in fatal I-81 crash

June 15, 2004|By DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - One of two tractor-trailer drivers killed in a fiery head-on collision on Interstate 81 Saturday morning was identified Monday as Alexander Springer, 29, of Norfolk, Conn., a county official said.

Springer was driving a northbound tractor-trailer which went into the median near the bridge over W.Va. 45 and struck a southbound tractor-trailer, said Berkeley County Medical Examiner David Brining.

Brining said authorities have not been able to positively identify the driver of the southbound tractor-trailer because of burns he suffered in the crash.

Officials think they know the identity of the victim, but a positive identification of the driver will be determined through an autopsy, which is being conducted at the state Medical Examiners office in South Charleston, W.Va., Brining said.

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The collision, which occurred at about 8:15 a.m., caused an explosion, police said.

That section of I-81 is under construction and is lined with concrete median barriers, said Deputy W.A. Johnson of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

The northbound truck somehow managed to miss the barriers and crossed over between a small open area at the bridge, Johnson said.

It was unclear what caused the truck to leave the northbound lane, police said. They said the investigation was continuing.

- Dave McMillion

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