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State Police: Taxi Driver Had Flat Tire Before Fatal Zakim Crash

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The northbound side of the bridge was closed during the fire. (WBZ-TV)

The northbound side of the bridge was closed during the fire. (WBZ-TV)

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BOSTON (CBS) – State Police say the taxi driver killed in Monday’s fiery crash on the Zakim Bridge had a flat tire shortly before a tractor-trailer slammed into her cab.

Debra Sarno, 54, of Chelsea, was driving a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria owned by Malden Taxi when she stopped in the right travel lane and was struck from behind by the truck.

Sarno was pronounced dead in the fire at the scene. There was no passenger in her cab.

An aerial view of the fire. (WBZ-TV)

An aerial view of the fire. (WBZ-TV)

The truck driver, Joseph Maldonado, 47, of Manchester Conn., escaped with only minor injuries.

State Police told WBZ-TV Tuesday they’re still trying to figure out “why the truck failed to take evasive action or to brake.”

Investigators say other trucks that were in front of Maldonado’s rig were able to avoid hitting Sarno’s taxi.

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