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1:22 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Semi-truck driver dies in crash

KINGMAN - The Arizona Department of Transportation was making repairs to Interstate 40 roadway Thursday after a single-vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon took the life of a semi-truck driver.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the eastbound semi-truck crossed the median for unknown reasons near milepost 23.6, which is close to the Haviland rest stop. The truck struck a guardrail and bridge abutment, then caught fire and rolled down into Mackenzie Wash, pulling the cab with it.

According to Today's News-Herald, the intensity of the fire and high winds prevented emergency medical personnel from getting to the semi driver, Harutyun Babayan, 44, from Los Angeles. The smoke, fire and winds also prevented them from radioing information about the truck to Desert Hills and Yucca firefighters who were en route to the accident.

A DPS official told the News-Herald that the truck was apparently carrying produce and caught fire after its fuel tanks ruptured on impact with the bridge abutment.

ADOT crews closed the left eastbound lane of I-40 Thursday morning to repair the guardrail. The lane was reopened by mid-afternoon.