Deputy Coroner Sandy Yelton identified the victim as Gerry Streetman, of the 2500 block of Sheraton Drive. An autopsy will be performed Tuesday at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Augusta to establish the exact cause of his death, Mrs. Yelton said.
She said Mr. Streetman was pronounced dead at 3:05 a.m.
He is believed to have died from blunt-force trauma, Mrs. Yelton said.
Trooper First Class Mike Callaway of the Georgia State Patrol post in Thomson said the crash also injured an Augusta man. James Ramsey, 55, of the 2400 block of Golden Camp Road, was taken by ambulance to Medical College of Georgia Hospital in Augusta.
Mr. Ramsey, who received only slight injuries, was returning to Augusta from the airport in Atlanta when his taxi van was rear-ended by the tractor-trailer driven by Mr. Streetman, Trooper Callaway said. The accident occurred shortly before 2:30 a.m. near mile marker 164 in the eastbound lanes.
After the impact in the right-hand lane, both vehicles veered off the road into the woods, where the van overturned. The big rig, slammed into trees and burst into flames.
It was the sixth fatality to have occurred on I-20 in Warren County within less than a month.