Coroner: Man burned to death after single-vehicle crash - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Coroner: Man burned to death after single-vehicle crash

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(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)

A man is dead after the vehicle he was driving ran off the road and caught fire early Wednesday morning, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Coroner Gary Watts identified the man as 38-year-old Samuel Burgess, Jr. of Blythewood.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Department says the crash happened shortly after 3:00 a.m. on Rice Meadow Way near Hardscrabble Road. 

Deputy Curtis Wilson says Burgess' vehicle ran off the road and hit a tree. According to Wilson, the Burgess' foot continued pressing the gas pedal and the engine overheated causing the vehicle to catch fire.

Officials believe Burgess' car may have gotten stuck in the sand in the accident.

"It is not known at this time if Mr. Burgess went to sleep with the vehicle still running or had some other issue that stopped him from exiting the vehicle. However the vehicle subsequently caught fire and was totally engulfed when the fire department arrived," said Watts.

A passerby noticed the fire and called for emergency help.

Watts says Burgess died from a combination of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries associated with the fire.

The accident remains under investigation.

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