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CANNELTON – A late-night crash east of Cannelton claimed the lives of two Tell City residents Thursday and left a Hawesville, Ky., woman in critical condition.
State police said their initial investigation shows that at approximately 12:30 a.m., Terry K. Burden Jr., 35, of 20 Rolling Pines Drive, was traveling east on Indiana 66 near the Cannelton Locks and Dam.
Burden, driving a 1999 Mercury Cougar at what investigators believe to be a high rate of speed, lost control of the car and left the south side of the road and struck a tree head-on. Upon impact, the vehicle caught fire.
Burden and a front-seat passenger, Brian W. Nugent, 49, of 18 Rolling Pines Drive, were both trapped in the vehicle and pronounced deceased by the Perry County coroner. A back-seat passenger, Sarah M. Metcalf, 27, Hawesville, was able to climb from the wreckage. She was first transported to Owensboro, Ky., later taken to Louisville, Ky., and is listed in critical condition, suffering a shattered pelvis and internal injuries.
Coroner Charlie Baumeister said Burden and Nugent were identified by a combination of medical records and items recovered at the scene. Although both victims were burned beyond recognition, Baumeister believes they likely died of blunt-force trauma from the impact of the crash, not from the fire.
A third passenger, not yet identified by authorities, allegedly fled the scene and is sought by police.
State police were assisted by the Perry County Sheriff’s Department, Cannelton Fire Department, Perry County EMS and the Perry County coroner’s office.