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Henry County woman, 72, dies in Shelby County wreck

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By Ashley Sutter

Sentinel-News

Just hours into Sunday morning, the Shelby County Fire Department responded to a possible injury accident with a vehicle fire around the 3200 block of Eminence Pike.

When they arrived on scene, they discovered a fully involved vehicle fire.

Engine 3331 extinguished the fire to find the driver, 72-year-old Jerry Acox of Henry County, deceased inside the vehicle.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office conducted a reconstruction of the accident. Shelby County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeff Ivers said the incident occurred on Sunday morning at 2:39, when the vehicle, a Ford Escape, went off the road.

“She was coming around a small curve on Eminence Pike around the 3200 block,” Ivers said. “She ran off the roadway, hit a culvert. When she hit the first culvert, the horse trailer and her Ford Escape came detached from each other. The escape overturned on its roof, sliding on its roof, hitting the second culvert, then flipping upright back on all four wheels.”

Ivers said the vehicle became engulfed in flames in the upright position. It is not yet clear if Acox was trapped or unconscious.

“We took her down for an autopsy,” Ivers said, noting it is difficult to determine much without an autopsy because of the extent of the fire damage.

Ivers said they would need to rule out any type of medical emergency or other impairing factors, such as drugs or alcohol – though they are not suspected in this situation, before they can determine the cause.

“If all comes back negative, she probably just fell asleep and drove off the roadway,” Ivers said, adding he spoke with the family and they were not certain why she was in the area at the time.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Shelby County Coroner’s Office are still investigating the incident.