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Father, young son perish in fiery crash on I-95 in Stonington

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Stonington – The Iowa driver of a tractor trailer and his 7-year-old son have been identified as the victims of a fiery crash on Interstate 95 northbound Monday evening.

State police identified the victims as Sergio Amilear Castellon, 31, and Sergio Giovanny Castellon, 7, both of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

About 8:15 p.m. the tractor trailer, owned by H&H Transport of Omaha, Neb., went off the side of the highway just under the Pequot Trail overpass and was destroyed by fire. The overpass is just south of Exit 91. 

Police said the tractor-trailer struck a flex beam guide rail on the right shoulder of the highway and the Pequot Trail overpass bridge abutment.

The boy was in the sleeper section of the cab when the crash occurred, according to the police report.

Several Council Bluffs residents took to Facebook when they learned of the news Tuesday, painting the Castellons as a friendly, helpful family.

"Sending lots of prayers for this amazing family, they are from my neighborhood and always willing to help others when they need it," wrote Christi Evans on a WOWT 6 News Facebook post.

Sharing a Facebook post by The Daily Nonpareil, Council Bluffs' local newspaper, Dawn Nelson Von Mende wrote that Sergio Giovanny carried the nickname of "Master G."

"This was one of our students," Von Mende wrote. "He was a favorite of mine. He was SO sweet. ... He was the cutest boy with a smile that could light up a room."

It could not immediately be determined what school Von Mende works for.

One woman, Amy Pischel Bennett, created a GoFundMe page for her "very dear friend" Tira Elliott, who she said "lost her little boy and her soul mate."

"Sergio and Giovanni were out on the road together, daddy was showing Gio the world and trucking," her GoFundMe page reads. "They got into a very bad wreck and God decided he wanted to keep these wonderful guys. ... Tira is now a widowed mother of two beautiful girls. This page is for friends and family to help in her time of need, let's help her get through this!"

Elliott's Facebook page describes her as having been in a domestic partnership with Sergio Amilear Castellon since 2003.

Council Bluffs Police Sgt. David Dawson said on Tuesday that officers notified the Castellons' next of kin Monday at midnight.

In 2002, a tractor trailer hit the same Pequot Trail overpass abutment after a minivan collided with the truck. More than 100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled as a result.

Eyewitnesses of Monday's accident are asked to call police at (860) 848-6500, Ext. 5033.

The crash created heavy traffic in Stonington all night long as northbound trucks and cars were detoured off Exit 90 and tried to find their way along local roads to get back on the highway at Exit 91. Police reported a tractor trailer accident on Jerry Browne Road as the truck failed to negotiate a turn.

State police also closed the section of Pequot Trail over the highway for a time because of concern the fire could have damaged the overpass.

 

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