A vehicle fire that occurred in Starke County Thursday evening resulted in one fatality.
According to Sheriff Bill Dulin, around 5:40 p.m. on Thursday, February 7th, the Starke County 911 Center received a call about a vehicle that had reportedly hit a tree and caught on fire.
A Starke County Deputy and a North Judson Police officer arrived on the scene first and found a full size truck had run head on into a tree and the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. While at the scene, police also found a woman and boy attempting to put the fire out with a garden hose but the fire was far too intense for them to put it out with that hose.
Authorities report that they also determined that the truck was still occupied by the driver, however, they were unable to get close enough to get him out due to the intensity of the fire.
Sheriff Dulin’s report goes on to say that the Knox Fire Department arrived on the scene and they were able to get the fire under control and eventually extinguished. The male driver of the truck, identified as William J. Baker, was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Starke County Coroner’s Office.
It was learned that the woman and the boy at the scene were the driver’s wife and step son who heard the accident and went running out to try and help get Baker out of the truck. However, he was pinned inside the vehicle and the fire was becoming overwhelming.
Investigators discovered that Baker was on his way home from work, traveling down his road when the accident occurred. Preliminary indications are that Baker experienced a medical event that lead to the cause of the accident.
An autopsy with a forensic pathologist has been scheduled for this weekend.
The investigation remains on going and no further details are being released at this time.