A Hillsboro man who was involved in a fiery crash on SR 138 last week experienced a sudden cardiac death before his car crashed, Highland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Beery told The Times-Gazette on Monday.
The deceased was identified Friday afternoon as Robert D. Newkirk, 55, of Hillsboro.
On Friday, the Wilmington Ohio State Highway Patrol Post told The Times-Gazette that emergency personnel from the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District arrived at the scene shortly after 8:30 a.m. and found a 2016 Dodge Charger that Newkirk was driving fully engulfed in flames. The incident occured about one-half of a mile northeast of the intersection of Mad River Road.
Wilmington State Patrol Post Commander Lt. Stan Jordan said, “From what we can tell so far, the car was northbound on 138 and went off the road and went through a front yard, then ramped and nosed in to the creek on the other side and burst into flames.”
On Monday, Beery said that there was no soot in Newkirk’s airways, which indicated that he wasn’t alive when his car caught fire.
Dr. James McKown of the Highland County Coroner’s Office said that the body was be taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.