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Highway reopened following fatal accident

POSTED: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 3:31pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 9:15am

Traffic on I-35 North, near Ross, has been reopened, following a fatal accident late Wednesday night.

According to Trooper D.L. Wilson of DPS, the highway had to be shut down for about 12 hours to clear the wreck and resurface the highway.

Wilson says around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday, there was a heavy flow of traffic headed northbound, toward Dallas, on the interstate. Motorists could see an upcoming lane closure, and traffic was moved down to one lane, which caused it to back up. The driver of a truck tractor, Martin Edgar, 48, of El Paso, turned his flashers on and slowed down his speed to around ten miles per hour. The driver of an 18-wheeler, Prek Gjokaj, 42, of Michigan, coming from behind, was traveling at highway speeds around 65 miles per hour. Wilson says witnesses told him he never hit his breaks.

Gjokaj crashed into the back of Edgar's rig, with a hard impact. Due to the collision, Gjokaj's rig exploded, trapping him inside.

Authorities pronounced Gjokaj dead on the scene. Edgar was transported to Hillcrest Hospital for minor back injuries and has since been released.

Resurfacing at mile post 349 completed around 11:30 a.m. Officials had to fix the highway where Gjokaj's load of aluminum car parts caused the asphalt to melt.

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