Human remains found inside vehicle that crashed and hit a shed, igniting fire in Harlan, Iowa

HARLAN, Iowa — Human remains were found late Tuesday inside a vehicle that crashed and hit a shed, igniting a fire.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release Wednesday that responders from the Harlan Police Department, the Harlan Fire Department, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Medivac Ambulance Corp. responded to a report of an explosion and a fire at 4025 Ridgeway Drive about 11:18 p.m. Tuesday.

When they arrived on the scene, they discovered a vehicle next to a shed in a backyard. The shed and the vehicle were engulfed in flames, according to the release. Human remains were found in the vehicle once the fire was extinguished.

The remains were sent to the State Medical Examiners Office in Ankeny for identification and to determine the cause of death, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office determined that the vehicle was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 59 when it left the roadway near the intersection of Hawkeye Avenue, which is near Iowa Western Community College’s campus on the southwestern side of Harlan.

The vehicle traveled across a grassy area before it struck several trees, the release said. The vehicle came to rest next to the shed and both caught fire.

The Sheriff’s Office said it wouldn’t release additional details on the crash pending identification of the remains and notification of next of kin.

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