RICHLAND COUNTY (WACH / AP) - A man who crashed his car into a small tree Wednesday died after the vehicle caught fire, according to the Richland County coroner.
Coroner Gary Watts says Samuel L. Burgess, Jr., 38, of Blythewood was driving on Rice Meadow Way between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. Wednesday when the car went into the wood line and hit a tree.
Authorities say Burgess' truck was stuck in the sand and the accelerator was held down, causing the engine to overheat and catch fire. The car was completely engulfed when the fire department arrived.
Watts says investigators don't know if Burgess was asleep or unconscious with his foot on the gas pedal or if he was trying to get the truck out of the sand and the fire trapped him inside the pickup.
He died at the scene from smoke inhalation and burns associated with the car fire.
The crash is under investigation by the coroner's office and the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)