FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) - The driver of a tractor-trailer involved in a fiery crash on Interstate 65 South at the Highway 96 interchange has died, according to Franklin Police.

Police said Yuniel Reyes Abreu, 25, who is from Florida, died from his injuries on Friday.

Franklin police said a tractor-trailer struck a bridge column support at a high speed around 12:20 p.m., struck another vehicle and caught fire.

The truck driver was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was seriously burned, but was able to escape the burning truck.

News4 spoke with Claudio Vazquez who saw the plume of black smoke coming from the other side of I-65 South in Franklin.

He rolled up on the crash minutes after it happened.

"I am very scared. Every people going to the right," Vazquez said.

He was making his way home to Antioch from Columbia after a day of work.

Vazquez wanted to warn people about the crash so he took a video on his cell phone.

"It's a big accident today and I don't want to see more people injured with this accident," Vazquez said.

As a precaution, the Highway 96 overpass in addition to I-65 South was closed until TDOT engineers could inspect the bridge.

“The concern very early on was that there may have been some type of compromised to the bridge,” said Franklin Police Lt. Charles Warner. “There was some considerable damage. The bridge took a hit from the semi as it was traveling south on I-65.”

Live TDOT SmartWay Map

Franklin crash - 10/3/19

The truck was struck by a tractor-trailer on I-65 South on Thursday afternoon.

After striking the bridge column, part of the load from the tractor-trailer struck an SUV that was in an adjacent lane. The occupants of that vehicle were taken to Williamson Medical Center with minor injuries.

Police closed the Highway 96 overpass for almost two hours until inspectors determined it was safe for vehicles to cross. At that time, police allowed traffic to exit on Highway 96 and cross the highway to return to I-65.

Police suggested exiting I-65 at McEwen Drive, Cool Springs Bouelvard or Moores Lane at the time.

Investigators are working to figure out what led to the crash.

At last check, police said the semi-driver is in critical condition. They haven't released that person's name. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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WSMV Digital Content Producer

Joey is an award-winning Digital Content Producer who joined WSMV in September 2018.


Forrest Sanders is an award-winning reporter, videographer and editor at News4.


Cameron Taylor is a national Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist who joined the News 4 team in December 2018.

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