Tanker truck driver killed in fiery 105 Freeway crash was beloved father

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (KABC) -- The driver of a double fuel tanker that was hit by an out-of-control SUV on the 105 Freeway in Hawthorne on Friday was a beloved father, his family said Sunday.

Leo Cabrera was behind the wheel of the tanker truck at about 5:15 a.m. when a Land Rover swerved in and out of traffic and slammed into his truck near the Crenshaw Boulevard exit.

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Two people were killed in a crash involving a tanker truck and an SUV on the 105 Freeway in Hawthorne, authorities said.

Both vehicles smashed into the center divider and burst into flames, killing Cabrera and the driver of the SUV. The driver of the Land Rover has not been identified.

The fiery wreck shut down part of the 105 Freeway for more than 14 hours.

MORE: Food truck feeds commuters stuck in 105 Fwy gridlock traffic
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Drivers on the 105 Freeway in Hawthorne were stuck in gridlock traffic following a fiery, fatal tanker truck crash. So, a food truck opened up shop right on the freeway lanes, feeding drivers at half price.

Cabrera was married with three young children. His wife Linda said in a statement that she lost her best friend and better half.

"He was a hardworking man, loved his family very much -- always smiling, thinking of others. He had a big heart. He gave me the most beautiful 12 years of marriage and three beautiful babies," she said. "(They're) hurting for their daddy. He came home every morning straight to give us all kisses when we were home sleeping. We miss those."
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