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Berks man dies after fiery accident near his home, officials say

A Bern Township man died in Reading Hospital after he was pulled late Thursday afternoon from a fiery crash in the township, authorities said Friday.

Walter C. Hammond, 54, was pronounced dead by a physician at 6:12 p.m. Thursday. He died of complications of thermal burns, and the death was ruled accidental, Berks County acting Coroner Jonn M. Hollenbach said.

Police said Hammond was southbound in the 1200 block of Fairview Avenue shortly before 5 p.m. when he lost control of his car on the wet road and struck a tree about a mile from his home. The car  burst into flames.

He was pulled from the car by first responders and had apparently suffered severe burns. It was unclear if he was wearing a seat belt.

A medical helicopter was dispatched but canceled after it had already landed. Hammond was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Crews needed about 10 minutes to put out the fire.

Bern police Chief Wesley Waugh said it appears Hammond simply lost control of the vehicle under the adverse weather conditions. He said speed did not appear to be a factor.

Source: Berkshire mont

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