Police identify driver found dead in cab after fiery I-35 18-wheeler crash

(Photo by Christy Soto)
(Photo by Christy Soto)(KWTX)
Published: Apr. 4, 2019 at 3:04 AM CDT
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Police Tuesday identified the driver of an 18-wheeler who was found dead in the cab early last Thursday after the rig slammed into a sign pole and two pumps at a gas station just off Interstate 35 in Waco and burst into flames as Gabriel Leyva, 41, of San Juan.

Police did not say how Leyva died.

“Our crash investigation is ongoing,” police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said in a brief update.

The accident was reported at around 1:45 a.m. Thursday at the Cefco station at 1620 South. 18th Street.

The northbound truck left highway and was on the northbound access road when it struck the pole and pumps and burst into flames.

The truck's fuel tank caught on fire after the crash, a witness told KWTX in an email.

Firefighters found a body in the cab of the truck after extinguishing the flames.

Partial lane closures were in effect at the intersection of South 18th and Interstate 35 while a hazmat team cleaned up and police investigated.

Electric service was temporarily shut off to the Cefco and the neighboring Budget Inn as a precaution.

The rig was hauling flat screen TVs, authorities said.