UPDATE: The Dade County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim in the deadly I-59 crash from Friday.

Sheriff's deputies identified the tractor-trailer driver as 44-year-old Ralph Elam from Tillman, South Carolina.

UPDATE: A crash involving two tractor-trailers shut down I-59 southbound in Trenton for around six hours Friday.

Deputies say when they arrived on scene, one driver was out walking around and another was entrapped inside the cab of his semi-truck. The cab had been completely detached from its frame.

The entrapped driver did not survive, and that driver has not yet been identified.

"Early reports from witnesses suggested that one tractor-trailer crossed the median, and struck the other tractor-trailer head-on," a sheriff's office spokesperson said.

The other driver, identified as 37-year-old Gustavo Rodriguez-Pagan of Pennsylvania, was taken into custody.

He faces charges of was charges of:

  • Homicide by Vehicle (1st-degree)
  • DUI
  • Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road
  • Failure to Maintain Lane
  • Driving Within the Emergency Lane/Median

The crash is being investigated by the Georgia State Patrol.

Stay with Channel 3 as we continue to learn more about this developing story.

ORIGINAL STORY: A fatal crash involving two tractor-trailers has closed a portion of I-59 southbound, according to the Dade County Sheriff's Office.

All lanes just past the Trenton exit are blocked, dispatch confirmed.


Traffic is being diverted to Highway 11 because of a police chase that ended on Morganville Ridge Road, which was one of the detours for I-59.

The chase suspect crashed in a ditch. Channel 3's crew at the scene says the suspect's vehicle has been pulled out of the ditch and the scene has been cleared.

Channel 3 is working to learn more about what led to the chase.

The crash on I-59 South left a lot of debris, and the interstate is expected to be closed for a while, a Dade County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said.

Dispatch said Georgia State Patrol troopers are assisting.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.