Passenger killed in fiery I-10 semi crash

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The man pronounced dead at the scene in Walton County was discovered in wreckage debris approximately six and a half hours after the crash.

Staff report

Florida Highway Patrol reported that the passenger in a tractor-trailer accident on Interstate 10 was killed Saturday morning.

According to a FHP press release, Carleton Ziegler, 45, of Orlando, was traveling east on I-10 at the time of the 10:30 a.m. crash at mile marker 94 in Walton County.

The 2013 Freightliner semi drifted off the highway and traveled into the center wooded median. At that point, according to the release, the tractor-trailer collided with several trees and became engulfed in flames.

Ziegler was critically injured in the crash and was unresponsive when EMS personnel arrived on scene. He was flown by medical helicopter to Bay Medical Sacred Heart in Panama City where he remained listed in critical condition Sunday morning.

When management of the trucking company Ziegler drove for learned of the crash, they informed the FHP Tallahassee Regional Communication Center that there was a passenger in the semi. White’s Tow and Recovery Company was on scene and began to search through the wreckage and debris for the passenger.

At approximately 5 p.m. Saturday, the body of 37-year-old Obenson Etienne was discovered under the truck’s cab and spilled load. The Orlando man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The eastbound left lane of I-10 was closed until 10:30 p.m. as cleanup efforts continued.

FHP noted that charges are pending.

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