Man Burned In Truck Fire Identified

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Forensic scientists in Tucson have identified the man killed when his truck caught fire last week as Norman Hanscom, 66, of Strawberry.

Hanscom was on his way home when he took a wrong turn on a remote dead-end in Pine.

Gila County Sheriff's Detective George Ratliff said Hanscom appeared to have accidentally backed up into a drainage ditch.

Ratliff said that possibly the gas tank ruptured, but he cannot say for sure what caused the truck to explode.

Hanscom's body was found eight feet inside a culvert next to the truck.

Ratliff said, based on the scant physical evidence, that Hanscom probably crawled into the culvert to avoid the fire and suffocated from the smoke.

A trail of gasoline that leaked down through the culvert may have ignited, burning Hanscom beyond recognition, Ratliff said.

"With the limited amount of physical evidence found, the exact cause of the fire cannot be determined," Ratliff said. "However, there is no evidence that anything other than a series of unfortunate and tragic circumstances lead to the accident that took the life of Mr. Hanscom."

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