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(WBIR-Newport) Two people, including a volunteer firefighter, are dead after an early morning crash on I-40 in Cocke County.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a tractor trailer truck driven by Roger Hawk, 31, of Hartford, was parked on the side of the interstate at milemarker 442 westbound near Newport because of an earlier crash. Hawk and his passenger, Elmer Ball, 33, of Cosby, were out of the truck when another big rig ran off the interstate and slammed into it around 6:45 am.

Ball was killed, along with the driver of the second truck, Ricky Lee McCurry, 50, of Shelby, North Carolina.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused McCurry to veer off the roadway and into the parked truck.

Elmer Ball was a volunteer firefighter for the Cosby Volunteer Fire Department in Cosby. Cosby's Fire Chief, Chris Gregg, told 10News Ball was one of those guys you could always count on, and he'd be the first one to jump up and help. He said it's a really rough day for his department.

"He was an absolute great fireman. Most of the time he drove our truck for us. He liked to drive the big trucks. Always had since he first came here. He also drove for Hartford Towing and he'd do anything you'd ask him to do. Anytime we called him, he'd jump right out and come whether he was busy of not and that's what makes a true volunteer," Chief Gregg said.

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