Wrong-Way Driver Causes Fatal, Fiery Big-Rig Crash: Police

A fiery, fatal wrong-way crash involving an 18-wheeler closed all southbound lanes of Interstate 35E in DeSoto Sunday morning.

According to police, just after 5 a.m., a driver was heading north in the southbound lanes of I-35E in a passenger vehicle when he collided with an oncoming tractor-trailer between Wintergreen Road and Danieldale Road.

The 18-wheeler then jackknifed and caught fire, said Nick Bristow, DeSoto police spokesman.

Emergency crews worked for several hours battling the flames. As of 9 a.m., all southbound traffic was forced to exit at Danieldale.

The driver of the semi was able to walk away unharmed. The driver of the passenger vehicle, identified by family members as 25-year-old Osmil Ruiz, of Honduras, died at the scene.

"The destruction from the collision and the fire is bad enough that police cannot tell how many people were in the vehicle that caused the accident," said Bristow in a statement.

Ruiz's wife said he has lived in Texas for the last three years after emigrating when he was 17. Ruiz's parents are in Honduras, but he has two siblings in Iowa and North Carolina who are now headed to North Texas to work on his funeral.

No further information was released.

Southbound I-35E remains closed Sunday afternoon as the crash is investigated.

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