Updated 11:30 p.m.
Authorities identified the crash victims as Maria Tabuena, 29, of Calhoun, and her passenger, Melina Trichell, 4.
GSP spokesman Gordy Wright said they were traveling northbound in a 1998 Ford Expedition in the right lane of Interstate 75 at exit 293 about 1:25 p.m. when the tractor-trailer changed lanes—from the center lane to the right lane—and struck the Expedition in the left side with the right side of the trailer. The big rig continued northbound as the Expedition ran off the road, struck a guardrail, hit an overhead sign support post and then became engulfed in flames.
The search for the tractor-trailer involved continues. Wright said troopers have interviewed several witnesses in an attempt to gather information and identify the truck.
The lookout for a late 90's "long-nose" Peterbilt tractor, maroon in color, and pulling a silver trailer with damage to the right side, is still valid. Witnesses describe the tractor and trailer as "very dirty," Wright added.
Anyone with information about the truck and the driver, or anyone who may have witnessed the crash, is asked to call the Georgia State Patrol post in Cartersville at 770-387-3701.
Updated 3:30 p.m.
A vehicle traveling northbound was forced out of the right lane by a tractor-trailer, causing it to strike a guardrail and an overhead support pillar before catching on fire about 1:25 p.m., said Georgia State Patrol spokesman Franka Young. "There are two known fatalities," she added.
Troopers and officers are on the lookout for the driver of the tractor-trailer, which is a maroon, long-nose Peterbilt with silver accents. The tractor and trailer are dirty, and the trailer will be damaged on its right side, authorities say.
Anyone with information is asked to contact GSP's Cartersville post at 770-387-3701.
Interstate 75 northbound at U.S. 411 in Cartersville is shut down due to a fatal crash and vehicle fire.
Bartow County Sheriff's Office sent this alert about 1:50 p.m.:
AVOID I-75 northbound near exit 293. All northbound lanes closed. Vehicle fire with fatal accident. AVOID area.
Bartow County 911 services report a fatal accident involving a vehicle fire. At this time the northbound lanes and exit are closed.
BCSO is assisting other emergency agencies in the area with traffic control and when lanes open use caution due to emergency workers in the area.
Check back with Cartersville Patch for updates.
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