Local truck driver dies in fiery crash on East Texas highway

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TYLER, Texas (KWTX) A truck driver from Oglesby died early Tuesday morning in a fiery crash with another 18-wheeler on State Highway 31 just west of Tyler.

Authorities identified the driver as Steven Wayne Richter, 55.

Tyler police Officer Don Martin said he drove for Con-way Freight.

Tyler police, fire and EMS units were sent just before 5 a.m. Tuesday to Texas 31 near the intersection of Spur 364 after a caller reported a crash and fire involving two truck 18-wheelers.

Martin originally said both trucks were westbound, one in the inside and one in the outside lane of traffic, when the outside lane truck for some reason veered into the next lane and collided with the other truck, which Richter was driving.

In an update later in the day, he said investigators determined that the collision occurred when the driver of the first truck, which was eastbound initially, made a U-turn to head west.

The first truck struck the second at the back of the cab and the second truck jackknifed into the grassy median.

The crash resulted in a fire that quickly engulfed the jackknifed truck’s cab, Martin said.

The driver of the first truck tried to get to Richter, but was unable to because of the intensity of the fire.

The driver of the other 18-wheeler was taken to a hospital with what police said were minor injuries.

Con-way is, a freight trucking company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., that has regional offices in Waco and Hewitt, was acquired by Greenwich, Conn.,-based XPO Logistics in the fall of 2015.