Man killed in Arlington when car crashes into bridge pillar, catches fire, police say

A man was killed in Arlington on Thursday night when his car drifted through several lanes of I-20, hit a bridge pillar and caught fire, police said.

Witnesses to the crash were able to pull the driver from the vehicle, police said, and he was transported to a local hospital. He was later pronounced dead.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office identified him Friday as Richard Lee Ridgely, 64, of Arlington.

Officers responded at 9:21 p.m. Thursday to the 1700 block of East Interstate Highway 20 for a report of a single-vehicle accident, police said. A preliminary investigation determined a car with one occupant was traveling west on the highway in the inside lane when, for an unknown reason, it veered across all westbound lanes of traffic, police said.

The car struck a bridge pillar underneath the New York Avenue Bridge on the outside shoulder, Arlington police said.

Witnesses saw the car catch on fire, police said, and rushed to help the man who was inside. They were able to pull him out of the vehicle so he could be taken to a hospital.

Investigators are looking into what caused the crash, police said.

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Jack Howland is a breaking news and enterprise reporter. Before coming to the Star-Telegram in May 2019, he worked for two and a half years as a breaking news reporter at the Poughkeepsie Journal in New York. He’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.