By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
LAUREL DALE - A Keyser man lost his life in an early-morning single-vehicle accident in which he and a passenger became entrapped in the vehicle as it caught fire.
According to the Mineral County Sheriff's Office, Robert Paul Thomas, 56, of Keyser, was pronounced dead on the scene of the 5:30 a.m. accident which occurred on Route 93 just prior to the intersection with Burgess Hollow Road.
Thomas had apparently been driving a 2008 Chevy Silverado 1500 pick-up truck on Route 93 toward Grant County when the vehicle ran off the right-hand side of the road, traveled down an embankment and struck two large trees.
Thomas and the occupant, whose name was not given by authorities, became entrapped and the truck's engine compartment caught fire.
Fire units that had also responded to the scene quickly doused the fire and the passenger was pulled from the vehicle.
Mineral County medical examiner Chris Guynn was called to the scene and pronounced Thomas dead at the scene.
The Keyser and New Creek volunteer fire departments responded to the scene, along with Keyser EMS and Burlington Ambulance.
Investigation into the incident continues by Deputy First Class Robbie Smith of the sheriff's department and the medical examiner.