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Irvine man dies after fiery crash

An Irvine man died Thursday morning from injuries suffered Wednesday in a single-car crash in Estill County, police said.

Joseph King III, 24, died at University of Kentucky Hospital, said Estill County Deputy Sheriff Karl Rifenbark." According to the Fayette County coroner, he died of complications from thermal burns over 90 percent of his body and blunt force trauma," Rifenbark said.

King was driving a 1994 Pontiac that ran off the road, over an embankment and some logs, and then struck a tree. "He possibly punctured the fuel tank and caught it on fire," Rifenbark said.

The crash happened shortly after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on Furnace Junction Road about 10 miles north of Irvine, Rifenbark said.

King was taken by helicopter from Wallace & Marcum Memorial Hospital in Irvine to Lexington. While en route to the Lexington hospital the helicopter had to make an emergency landing at Blue Grass Airport. Airport marketing director Brian Ellestad said a helicopter landed there shortly after 7 p.m. after reporting an engine problem.

After the safe landing, King was transported to UK Hospital.

Toler Funeral Home in Irvine is handling arrangements.

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