Names released in fatal vehicle fire

Amber Gillenwater

March 20, 2014

GALLIPOLIS — The names of the two men who were found dead inside a burned car last week in Gallia County have been released.

Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning said Thursday afternoon that the victims have been identified as Terrell A. Hurt, 21, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., and Tyler D. Pearson, 20, of Gallipolis.

The identification of the two people found inside the car on March 13 were initially withheld by investigators as no positive identification could be obtained, but the family members of those whom investigators believed to be the victims were contacted.

Browning said Thursday that Gallia County Coroner Dr. Daniel Whiteley confirmed the identification of the two men.

As previously reported, firefighters with the Rio Grande Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to the scene of the vehicle fire at approximately 3:30 p.m. March 13 on Garners Ford Road just outside the village of Rio Grande in Raccoon Township and quickly extinguished the fire.

Deputies with the sheriff’s office were subsequently dispatched and later contacted the coroner, as well as agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and officials with the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office, to investigate the fire.

According to dispatchers, officials were on scene until approximately 10 p.m. March 13.

Browning also said Thursday that the cause of death of the two men is still pending further autopsy results that have yet to be released to investigators.

In addition, the sheriff said investigators are continuing to focus on what started the fire, as the cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.

Additional details in relation to this case will be released as they are made available by investigators.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office via their tip line at (740) 446-6555.