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CHP Investigating Fatal Incident That Ignited Fire

Sonora, CA — What led to the death of a 71-year-old Sonora man is being actively investigated by law enforcement.

As first reported yesterday, a fire along Red Heather Drive near Spanish Grant Drive burned three acres in the Crystal Falls area. Emergency officials found a burned 2008 Jeep, and a body, within the fire perimeter. The deceased was an unidentified 71-year-old man from Sonora.

Explaining what occurred, CHP Officer Nick Norton says, “There was a vehicle in a driveway on Red Heather Drive, that for unknown reasons, rolled backwards down the steep driveway. It went across the road and down a steep embankment. The vehicle did collide with several rocks, and the rear of the vehicle  then struck a tree and came to a stop. The vegetation around the vehicle did catch on fire, and we are assuming that it was the cause of the fire yesterday.”

There are still many unknowns. Norton adds, “The driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. We are not sure if he was actually in control of the vehicle when it started to go down the driveway, or if he was actually caught up in the vehicle as it started to roll.”

The incident happened at around 3:30pm on Tuesday.