Owensboro officials are still working to identify the person who ran his vehicle into a building and burned to death this weekend. That building had a gas line inside and the crash immediately ignited a six hour-long blaze. The Coroner's office has obtained the dental records of the person they believe was in the car. The records are on their way to the Medical Examiner's office in Madisonville. Officials say it could be two or three days until they can identify the body.
Original report 3/21:
A terrible accident around 9 Saturday morning in Owensboro leaves one man dead. It was an unusual scene for emergency responders and witnesses, who tried to save the man's life. A man was turning off W. 2nd St. onto Hale Ave. when he smashed into an small aluminum building with a gas line inside immediately igniting an intense blaze. Police say there was basically nothing anyone could do. "A witness did try to help the man out of the vehicle, but was unable to open it or break a window before it was engulfed in flames," said Ofc. Marian Cosgrove, with the Owensboro Police Department. "I was fixing to cook me some breakfast, and I heard a 'boom!' I heard a couple of explosions," said Scott Devine. "I looked out my window and saw it burning." Devine was one of the dozens of people who watched in horror as the truck continued to burn as firefighters were unable to put the gas-fueled fire out. Hours ticked by, and it wasn't until a back hoe was brought out that an Atmos Energy crew was able to deal with the gas - easing a difficult and, firefighters said, unusual situation. "It's something we do practice for," said Asst. Chief John Vessels. "It's not something that we've ever done practically. We do practice for it - mainly propane drills for propane gas emergencies - this being natural gas but, of course, the same principle." Things started calming down, but the shock for everyone involved will take much longer to wear off. Emergency crews finally had a chance to step back and assess the situation. They don't suspect foul play, but they're not ruling anything out. "We've got accident reconstruction out here," said Cosgrove. "We've got coroners. We've got investigators and everything just to make sure. We believe it was an accident, but until we get to that point we have to treat it as a regular investigation." Cosgrove said it wasn't until after three this afternoon that crews were finally able to remove the truck and take it to the police garage for examination. The name of the man who was killed has not been released and likely won't be until after an autopsy probably early this week.