Police: Driver can't recall moments before fiery crash - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police: Driver can't recall moments before fiery crash

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The Iowa State Patrol says the driver of a semi that crashed into a bridge support on I-80 in Iowa City last month doesn't remember the moments leading up to the crash.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, 24-year-old Shawn C. Freeman of Plattsmouth, Nebraska was westbound on I-80 around 8:15 a.m. on May 22 when his semi drifted off the right shoulder, striking the Dubuque Street overpass and bursting into flames.

Freeman, who was wearing his seat belt at the time, was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics by ambulance.

The passenger in the truck, 39-year-old Gary A. Griffey, of Lafayette, Indiana, died from his injuries at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Troopers say Griffey was not wearing his seat belt.

The Iowa State Patrol, who interviewed Freeman after he was released from the hospital, says he has no memory of the moments leading up to the crash. The Iowa State Patrol says they have no idea if distracted driving or drowsiness played a role in the crash.

Freeman was ticketed for failure to maintain control.

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A Dubuque man and retired brigadier general helped pull one of two men out of the way of a fiery crash Friday morning.

Bob Felderman told KWWL's Olivia Mancino he saw the semi involved in Friday morning's fatal crash veer off and hit the Dubuque Street bridge in the westbound lane of Interstate 80.

Then, Felderman saw the semi catch fire. Another person was also stopped at the scene, and Felderman and the other bystander decided that they had to act before the fuel tank exploded.

The other bystander and Felderman ran to help one victim they saw lying on the ground.

As soon as they pulled him away from the vehicle, the fuel tank exploded, according to Felderman.

Felderman was optimistic they helped save a life, though only one of the two victims in the crash lived, according to the Iowa State Patrol.

"Good start to my day," Felderman posted along with photos to his Facebook wall. "Just helped pull guy out of flaming truck wreck on (sic) i80. Explosion of tank as we pulled clear. He should live."

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An Indiana man was killed and a Nebraska man injured after the semi they were in struck an Interstate 80 overpass and caught fire.

Gary A. Griffey, 39, of Lafayette, Indiana, was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics by ambulance, where he died of his injuries, the Iowa State Patrol reported Friday afternoon.

Griffey was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, according to the report.

The driver of the semi, Shawn C. Freeman, 24, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, was also taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics by ambulance, according to troopers.

Freeman was wearing a seatbelt at the time, according to the report. His condition is unknown.

The Western Express semi was westbound on I-80 around 8:15 a.m. Friday when Freeman allowed the vehicle to drift off of the right shoulder, striking the Dubuque Street overpass at mile marker 244, according to the Patrol.

The semi then caught fire, according to the report.

The accident remains under investigation.

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According to our coverage partners at the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Dubuque Street is closed at the I-80 overpass because there are concerns about the bridge after a semi carrying steel crashed into a bridge support.

KWWL has a crew on the scene. Our reporter says Dubuque Street remains closed along with I-80 westbound.

The semi that crashed is a Western Express truck out of Nashville.

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?A crash has backed up traffic on I-80 near Coralville.

The DOT says I-80 westbound is blocked at exit 244 (Dubuque Street). A detour is in place.



Amie Steffeneicher and Jerry Gallagher contributed to this report.

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