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Authorities have released the name of a tractor-trailer driver whose body was found in a fiery crash Thursday morning on Interstate 70 near Hagerstown.

Samuel Reese of New Galilee, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to a news release from Maryland State Police.

The crash occurred shortly before 6:45 a.m. under the U.S. 40 bridges that run over I-70 east.

Troopers said Reese was driving a 2007 Freightliner tractor-trailer when traffic slowed at the 32-mile marker. Reese applied the truck’s brakes, which caused the vehicle to veer into the merging lane.

The truck then struck the bridge abutment and burst into flames.

A 2012 Honda Civic being driven by Deborah Flores and a 1993 Chevrolet S-10 being driven by Dennie Stitely were traveling directly behind the Freightliner.

Police said the Honda and the Chevrolet collided while attempting to avoid the crash.

Flores and Stitely, both of Hagerstown, were uninjured.

Flores said at the scene that she was merging onto I-70 eastbound when she heard the tractor-trailer’s brakes screech. The truck then crashed into a concrete barrier on the side of the highway.

“He skid in front of me and hit the wall … and then there was fire,” she said.

Flores also noted traffic had slowed at the time of the crash.

Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Eric Fraley said firefighters were called at 6:51 a.m. and, after arriving moments later, found the tractor-trailer engulfed in flames.

Fraley said rescuers couldn’t tell if the driver was alive when they arrived because the flames were too heavy.

It took firefighters about 15 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Maryland State Police Lt. Joe George, commander of the Hagerstown Barrack, said the tractor-trailer appeared to be made for hauling concrete, but the trailer seemed to be empty at the time of the crash. 

The Maryland State Highway Administration determined there was no damage to the U.S. 40 bridges.

Police said neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to be a factor.

The interstate remained closed until noon.

Anyone who witnessed the crash may call state police at 301-766-3800.