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Drivers killed in fiery collision

March 06, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

MYERSVILLE, MD. - A Washington County man was one of two people killed Monday when a pickup truck and tractor-trailer collided in a fiery crash on Interstate 70 in Frederick County, according to Maryland State Police.

James Martenot, 41, of Emmert Road near Funkstown, was driving a 2005 Chevrolet pickup west on Interstate 70 at about 8:20 a.m. when his truck crossed the center median and struck an eastbound tractor-trailer near Hollow Road, police said.

Witnesses said the tractor-trailer moved to the right to avoid the other truck, but the pickup hit the tractor-trailer's fuel tank, which caught on fire, Sgt. Arthur Betts said.

Because of the fire, police were awaiting results from the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the tractor-trailer driver's identity and cause of death, Betts said. He said the driver likely was crushed by the tractor-trailer's load - 40,000 pounds of coiled steel - before the fire started.

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"The entire tractor-trailer burned," Betts said.

The tractor-trailer was owned by PI&I Motor Express of Masury, Ohio, police said.

Both drivers were dead when rescuers arrived, Betts said.

The highway was closed in both directions for almost an hour after the crash, Betts said. It wasn't fully open until nearly noon, he said.

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