Car Theft Suspect Dies in Fiery Crash

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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- Investigators are working to determine the identity of a driver killed in a fiery high-speed crash near Grain Valley on Tuesday morning.

According to Jackson County Sheriff's deputies, the vehicle in the case - a pickup truck - was reported to be stolen, but it wasn't being pursued by police at the time of the wreck on Arnett Road. Authorities say that it appears that the driver - identified only as a male - was thrown from the cab when the truck rolled over.

"I heard an explosion, you know," said neighbor Stan Green. "And I looked around. I didn't see nothing. No smoke or nothing. So I went back in the shop to get my gloves because I felt like I needed them. Come out and then I seen the smoke from the pickup."

Deputies say the truck had been reported stolen from Lee's Summit. Investigators report finding a number of alcoholic beverage containers strewn around the crash scene.

The speed limit is 35 miles an hour on the narrow two-lane road, but deputies say the truck was traveling much faster when it topped a hill and lost control, flipping over and crashing through a fence before catching fire.

"This particular scene as you can imagine is a mess," said Sgt. Rhonda Montgomery of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department. "A truck was traveling at such a high rate of speed when it went off the side of the roadway. We've got personal effects, things that were inside that truck strewn all across the yards here. Unfortunately it did go through someone's front fence. There's fencing everywhere."

Investigators say that there was no identification found at the scene of the crash. The Jackson County Medical Examiner is working to try and identify the driver.

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