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Fatal wreck closes westbound lanes of Loop 820

Westbound lanes of Northeast Loop 820 near Blue Mound Road were closed all Friday afternoon and into the evening rush hour as crews worked to clear wreckage from a fiery, three-vehicle crash that killed the driver of a car crushed between two trucks, police said.

Police, firefighters and ambulance crews were dispatched to the wreck, northeast of Meacham International Airport, at 12:44 p.m. Fire erupted when fuel tanks were ruptured on a cement truck involved the crash.

Investigators believe the driver of that truck was changing lanes on a downward slope and might have lost control of his vehicle, which caused the rig to slam into the back of a four-door Nissan that was stopped in traffic in the westbound lanes, said Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman.

The Nissan was shoved into the back of a tanker truck, killing the driver as the car crumpled, he said.

"The traffic investigation unit will investigate to see whether he was negligent," Henderson said of the cement truck driver. "If he is, then he could be charged with criminally negligent homicide."

Police believe the victim was a 25-year-old man, but Henderson declined to release the man's name until officers were sure his family had been notified.

Investigators think exterior fuel tanks on the cement truck ruptured as the rig slid alongside the tanker, which was hauling mud for gas-well drilling, Henderson said. Flames burst from the wreckage and engulfed both rigs, he said.

Witnesses told police that the drivers of the tanker and the cement truck escaped the flames without help, Henderson said. But both men were taken to Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital. Their conditions could not be learned Friday.

The westbound lanes of the loop were reopened about 5:45 p.m.