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Driver killed in fiery W.Va. crash

February 24, 2009

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- A motorist died early Tuesday when he lost control of the car he was driving on a curve on Flowing Springs Road.

The vehicle struck two utility poles, flipped onto its roof and burst into flames, Jefferson County Sheriff Robert Shirley said.

The body, said to be that of a male, was too badly burned for authorities to make an identification, Shirley said. The driver was alone in the car.

Shirley said Tuesday night that his department still had not identified the man, although the person might have been a 21-year-old from Charles Town, W.Va.

An autopsy was conducted at the state medical examiner's office in Morgantown, W.Va., Tuesday and the results of the autopsy should be available Wednesday, Shirley said.


Hopefully, the autopsy will reveal who the person was, said Shirley, adding that information like medical records might be used to identify the man.

The single-vehicle accident occurred at about 3 a.m. on Flowing Springs Road, about a half-mile south of the intersection with W.Va. 230, Shirley said.

The vehicle was so badly burned that it was difficult to tell whether it was a car or truck, but investigators eventually determined it to be a teal BMW four-door sedan, Shirley said. The fire was so hot that the license plate melted, Shirley said.

The driver was southbound when he lost control on a sharp curve and the car went off the left side of the road. It hit the first utility pole, bounced off it, continued down the left side of the road and hit a second pole before flipping, Shirley said.

Anyone with information on the victim's identity may call the sheriff's office at 304-728-3205. 

-- Richard F. Belisle

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