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Fiery wreck on 121 kills one

A driver headed the wrong way on a Fort Worth freeway died in a fiery wreck early Sunday after striking a large pickup and seriously injuring the truck's driver, according to police.

The crash happened about 2:45 a.m. on Airport Freeway under the Sylvania Avenue bridge, said Sgt. Rodney Bangs, supervisor of the traffic investigation unit.He said a Ford Explorer Sport Trac was driving east in the westbound lanes of Airport Freeway when it struck a westbound Ford F350 pickup.

"The two vehicles collided underneath the Sylvania [Avenue] overpass, and this caused the Sport Trac to catch on fire," Bangs said.

The driver of the Sport Trac, who police have identified only as a 26-year-old Fort Worth man, died at the scene.

The pickup's driver, identified by his nephew as Joel Peña, was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in serious condition.

Jason Peña said doctors aren't sure whether his uncle will survive -- his spleen has been removed and both legs are broken. Doctors can't perform additional tests on him because he has so many broken bones, he added.

"They told him he was lucky to be alive when he got there," Jason Peña said.

Bangs said there was no evidence indicating that alcohol was a factor in the wreck, but they're awaiting toxicology results from the Tarrant County medical examiner's office.

Jason Peña said his familiy is still puzzled by the wreck, and is hopeful investigators can determine how a driver going the wrong way ended up on that stretch of Airport Freeway.

He said Joel Peña is in his 40s, married and has two children.

"We're just praying," he said. "But we're also praying for the other man's family, too. Good people can have bad days."

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