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Posted: February 26, 2013 1:55 p.m.

Victim ID'd in fatal tree falling and crash

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UPDATE: Authorities have identified the driver killed by the falling tree as Roy Arndt, 60 of Oxford.

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A large tree fell on on a pickup truck on Interstate 20 westbound near Sigman Road during Tuesday's rain during morning rush hour, killing a 60-year-old man and causing a seven-car chain reaction crash.

The accident occurred around 6:20 a.m. on Interstate 20 westbound between Sigman Road and the DeKalb County line. A 1998 Toyota Tacoma was travelling on I-20 towards Atlanta just past Sigman Road when a large tree fell in the strong wind and rain from the side of the interstate. The tree landed on the cab of the truck and entrapping the driver. The truck was driven by a 60-year-old male who was pronounced deceased at the scene. The identity of the driver is being withheld at this time, pending family notification.

After the initial accident, several other vehicles were involved in a chain reaction accident attempting to avoid hitting the truck and the tree, which was blocking the interstate. The Georgia State Patrol assisted the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office by handling those accidents, while the RCSO Special Operations Unit worked the fatal accident.  

As a result of the accident, I-20 between Sigman Road and Turner Hill Road was closed for approximately two hours, causing major traffic congestion.

The accident is still under investigation, but the tree being downed by the rain and wind is believed to be the main cause. 

 

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(Feb. 26, 9:10 a.m.) All lanes are open and traffic is flowing again on I-20 westbound after a seven-car crash near the Sigman Road exit.

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(Feb. 26, 8:08 a.m.) IN BRIEF: Interstate 20 westbout has been blocked at the Sigman Road exit with a reported tree in the roadway and a crash according to WSB. A tree fell into the lanes around 6:30 a.m. due to high winds, causing a multiple vehicle wreck. According to the Ga. Department of Transportation, there is at least one fatality. Traffic is reportedly backed up to at least the exit at Ga. Highway 138. Drivers are being rerouted to Old Covington Highway.

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