Truck driver killed on I-78 identified

September 3, 2010 8:14:28 AM PDT
A tractor trailer driver from Easton, Pa. was killed in a fiery crash that closed the eastbound lanes of Interstate 78 in Northampton County for nearly 11 hours Thursday.

The crash made a mess of both the morning and afternoon rush hours throughout the Lehigh Valley, as eastbound drivers on I-78 tried to find another way to get where they were going.

It also left a family without a husband and father. Mario Chacon was a father of five children.

He died when his truck, broken down on the shoulder of I-78, was hit by a car and burst into flames around 6:30 a.m.

"It's a nightmare, a nightmare you want to wake up but you can't, so painful, so painful," said Chacon's wife, Cecilia.

Cecilia Chacon's nightmare is now her reality.

Police said Chacon was standing outside his truck, waiting for help, when the accident happened.

Police haven't said how a second semi became involved in the crash.

Investigators said three other people were rushed to St. Luke's Hospital.

The scene snagged westbound traffic, too, as drivers slowed for a look at what was going on.

"They are trying to take pictures and they really should keep moving and pay attention to where they are going so we don't have another wreck," said PennDOT's Bob Wilhem.

Back in Easton, pictures and memories are now the only link for Mario's family.

"We have a house full of people," said Chacon's daughter Darlene. "Everyone loves my Dad. He would take the shirt off his back for you that was the type of person he was."

Officials have not released any information about the condition of those people taken to the hospital.