UPDATE: Medical Examiner Identifies Three Killed in Crash

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UPDATE: 4/22/11 2:00PM

The Wood County Sheriff's Office has released the following information regarding the fatal accident on April 18, on the I 77 Bridge entering West Virginia from Ohio.

The West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed Friday that the persons involved in the fatal crash are as follows:

The driver was 38-year old Malaka Jones of Solon, Ohio.

The front seat passenger was 29-year old Sherita Hogans of Cleveland, Ohio.

The back seat passenger was 11-year old Maliyah Jones of Solon, Ohio, the daughter of Malaka Jones.

The investigation into the crash continues.
UPDATE: April 19, 2011 @ 10:33 p.m.

Investigators are seeking medical records to identify the three people killed last night in the collision of a tanker truck and a car on interstate 77.

But the NBC affiliate in Cleveland is reporting that the Solon School District confirmed Tuesday that it was 5th grader Maliyah Jones and Maliyah's mother, Malaka Jones, both from Solon, who died in the fiery crash.

The third person remains unidentified on all fronts.

Again, area authorities can not confirm nor deny that these are the identities of the dead.

Officials tell us the bodies were burned so severely investigators have to wait on medical examiner's reports to confirm who the deceased are.
Updated: 4/19/2011 12:20pm

Williamstown, W.Va. (AP) -- Authorities are investigating a fiery collision between a tanker truck and a car that killed three people on an Interstate 77 bridge over the Ohio River.

The tanker truck carrying liquid nitrogen caught fire after it rear-ended a 1999 Saab around 8:15 p.m. Monday. The bridge links Wlliamstown and Marietta, Ohio.

Police say the tanker's driver, 62-year-old Eugene Fox of Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, saw the car sitting idle on the bridge and unsuccessfully swerved to miss it.

Three people in the car were killed. Fox wasn't injured.

No nitrogen was released from the tanker.

The bridge was closed following the wreck and traffic was rerouted. All four lanes reopened Tuesday morning.

(Copyright 2011 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


UPDATE: 4/19/11 6:22 AM

One southbound and one northbound lane on I-77 are now re-open.
UPDATE: 4/19/11 1:23 AM

Sergeant Brett Pickens with the Wood County Sheriff's Office says three people are dead after an accident on Interstate 77, Monday night.

Sergeant Pickens says around 8:15 p.m. a CGI International tanker truck carrying liquid nitrogen struck a vehicle in a rear end type collision on the I-77 bridge at milepost 186.

He says the tanker then caught fire and the blaze spread to the car.

The truck driver was unharmed.

The three people in the car are dead, but cannot be positively identified due to severe burns.

Sergeant Pickens say the bodies are being transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiners in Charleston for autopsy.

He says no liquid nitrogen has been released into the air.

One northbound lane of I-77 was re-opened at 11:00 p.m.

The south lanes are still closed at this time.
UPDATE: 4/18/11 11:45PM

ODOT has released an official detour for those still needing to travel I-77:

Exit 6 to SR 821 south to SR 60 south to SR 7 south to US 50 east across the Blennerhassett Bridge into West Virginia and back to I-77.

UPDATE: 4/18/11 10:45PM

The Wood County Sheriff's Office is just beginning its investigation into a fiery fatal accident on Interstate 77, Monday night.

Shortly after 8:00, police and fire responded to an accident on the I-77 bridge, over the Ohio River, involving a tanker truck and another vehicle.

Officials say after the crash, the tanker truck caught fire.

Sheriff Jeff Sandy says they're just beginning an investigation, due to the amount of work done by firefighters in making sure the scene was safe.

Sheriff Sandy believes two people died.

He says the driver of the tractor trailer was able to escape, but he believes the two people in the other vehicle involved died on scene.

Police immediately shut down traffic in both directions and are continuing to re-route motorists.

He hopes to have a northbound lane back open within the hour.

The sheriff's office is also bringing on the Wood County Crash Team to help with the investigation.

No other details are being released at this time.

We'll be sure to keep you updated right here on WTAP.com

Police and Fire are responding to a tanker truck fire on the I-77 Bridge over the Ohio River.

Shortly after 8:00 Monday evening, officials responded to an accident involving a tanker truck and a vehicle.

Officials say the tanker truck caught on fire.

They say there may also be an entrapment.

Police have shut down traffic on I-77 and are asking you to find an alternate route, if possible.

Stay tuned to WTAP.com for the latest.

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