2 bodies found in fiery car crash in Hardin County

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — There was not much left of a car THP says was involved in a late night accident Friday in Hardin County.

“The 911 call was about 11:30 yesterday of a vehicle fire and a crash in the Walnut Grove area of Hardin County,” said Chief Melvin Martin of the Hardin County Fire Department.

First responders say when they arrived on scene, the car was fully engulfed in flames.

“When they burn for 30 minutes to an hour, there’s not much left as far as just the metal and the steel,” Chief Martin said.

THP says commonly found identification numbers, like the one usually seen on the dashboard, were destroyed, due to the intense heat of the fire.

You can see a timing chain, timing gear, an exposed piston; all these parts should not be seen,” said Michael Hall, tow truck operator at H & H Towing.

Once they put the fire out, Chief Martin says they realized there were two bodies inside. THP says the extensive fire damage made it difficult for them to identify the victims along with the make and model of the vehicle, which they have reason to believe is a 2005 Mercedes SUV.

“In roughly 12 years of towing, this is one of the worst vehicle fires I have ever run into,” Hall said. “It’s one of the hottest ones I’ve ever seen.”

Chief Martin says the driver may have lost control of the car.

“There was a curve, not a very sharp curve, but there was some skid marks,” said Chief Martin, “and they just hit the tree head-on.”

Officials say the impact of the crash may have been what prevented the victims from escaping the car.

We received an update Saturday evening from the Tennessee Highway Patrol saying they have reason to believe the two victims of the crash have been identified. They say DNA testing is being conducted to confirm these identities, which should become available later next week.

Stick with WBBJ on-air and online for updates.

If you have any information on this incident, the THP urges you to contact them immediately at 800-736-3993.