PYMATUNING TWP., Pa. (WKBN) – One person died in a car accident in Pymatuning Township Tuesday afternoon.

A call went out just before 3 p.m. for a truck that veered off the road and hit a tree on Colt Road, near Route 18.

“Afterwards, there was a significant fire that is causing us some challenges,” said Mercer County Coroner John Libonati.

The coroner identified the crash victim as 45-year-old Gerald Anthony Splitstone II of Pymatuning Township.

He was the only person in the truck.

Initially, it took several hours to identify the body because of damage from the fire.

“There is a lot of trauma to the individual,” Libonati said.

Colt Road remained closed for nearly four hours for clean-up and investigation.

“There were some other hazards. The situation was very hazardous. The position of where the vehicle is and there’s a tree,” Libonati said.

While the exact manner of his death has not yet been determined, the coroner said it appears the impact of the crash killed the driver.

“All indication is that the death occurred at the time of the accident, prior to the fire,” Libonati said.

The tree also caught on fire and burned for hours until crews were able to put it out and cut it down for safety.

Because of the tree, the Pymatuning Telephone Company temporarily cut its telephone and internet services.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing. Police have not yet said what caused the driver to go off the road.

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