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Elderly Man, Trying To Free Stuck Car, Sets It Afire

April 24, 1985

McVILLE, N.D. (AP) _ A man whose car got stuck in the mud burned to death Wednesday when the tires ignited as he tried to drive free and the vehicle caught fire, police said.

Gerhard Larson, 66, of McVille drove his car into a roadside ditch and became stuck while westbound on a Nelson County township road 7 miles northwest of McVille, said Highway Patrolman Del Johnston. McVille is in east- central North Dakota.

Larson, whose car sank up to its doors in the mud, apparently tried to free it by spinning the car’s wheels forward and backward, Johnston said. The tires ignited, and the doors were sufficiently blocked by mud to prevent Larson’s escape, he said.

″I’ve heard of it happening before,″ Johnston said. ″Especially mud, it doesn’t seem to take very long.″

The fire was out by the time authorities arrived, and the car was a charred wreck, he said.

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