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The yet-to-be identified person found dead inside a burned car off Ole Turnpike Road early Wednesday morning apparently died from smoke inhalation as the result of a traffic accident, according to a Bedford Police Chief Jim Day.
Day said Wednesday afternoon that apparently the driver of the vehicle left the road and traveled 200 feet into brush. Excessive speed might have been a factor, he said.
He said there wasn't any evidence of foul play involved.
Day said apparently the driver was incapacitated, following the accident, and the car caught fire. He said that probably occurred after the vehicle's catalytic converter came into contact with brush in the overgrown field where the vehicle came to rest.
"We still don't have a positive ID (on the victim)," stated Day, adding that identification would come through DNA evidence. The police, however, do believe they know who the victim might be.
Day added the department will also be using the medical examiner's toxicology report to help determine the cause of the accident.
The car was totally destroyed in the fire and the body of the victim was also badly burned. The police have identified the owner of the vehicle.
An overnight worker near the accident heard several pops and went out to find what had caused them, driving around, Day said. That worker saw the fire in the woods and called 911. By the time rescue crews arrived the car was fully involved in flames.
A Virginia State Police arson investigator assisted the Bedford Police with the investigation.
Wednesday morning at about 12:30 a.m. the Bedford Police Department and Bedford Fire Department responded to Ole Turnpike Road in the city of Bedford regarding a possible explosion.
It was discovered that a vehicle had left the roadway and was on fire. While extinguishing the fire, firefighters found that there was a body inside the vehicle.
The body was released to the Medical Examiners office for determination of cause of death.
The Bedford Police Department is continuing the investigation.