Driver killed in Love Co. box truck crash on I-35

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LOVE COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) -- (UPDATED: 11/6/17 @ 6:42 p.m.)

Oklahoma troopers have identified the man killed in a box truck accident on I-35 near the Red River Monday morning.

Just before 4, 27-year-old Mario Zuniga fell asleep at the wheel of a box truck, crashing into the guardrail. The Farmers Branch Texas man was thrown from the vehicle, and killed.

"It makes me feel bad, because I hate to hear of anybody getting killed." Thackerville Resident Butch Bridwell said.

Bridwell says he travels south on I-35 often, and says the bridge at mile marker eight is a dangerous stretch of highway.

"On the pavement its got little slants that throw your wheels off."

That's where Troopers say Zuniga fell asleep at the wheel, before over-correcting and striking the guardrail.

"If a person isn't watching what they're doing when they hit that spot, their wheels will pull them this way." Bridwell said.

Zuniga was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, 36-year-old Raymundo Peralta-Medel, was taken to a Gainesville Hospital.

"Its a sad thing to happen, but it really does happen everyday." Thackerville resident Kaleigh Johnson said.

Johnson doesn't think the stretch of highway is dangerous. It's tired drivers behind the wheel that scare her.

"No one is going to get mad at you for pulling over to the side of the road and taking a rest for 30 minutes or so, or stopping for a cup of coffee. Anything that will help," Johnson said. "A job is replaceable, you can replace your job any day of the week. But a person is not."


One person is dead after a cargo truck crashed on Interstate 35 at mile marker 8 in Love County early Monday morning.

It happened around 3:50 a.m. when the male driver of the cargo truck hauling nuts and bolts fell asleep at the wheel, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers. .

Troopers said he then overcorrected and flipped the truck on its side.

The driver was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.

The crash slowed southbound traffic for several hours, but the interstate fully reopened just before 9 a.m.

Troopers have not yet identified the driver.

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