SIU employee killed in vehicle fire near Makanda

SIU employee killed in vehicle fire near Makanda
Cory Lee Warren (Source: Saluki Athletics)
Cory Lee Warren (Source: Saluki Athletics)

JACKSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Authorities are still investigating after a deadly vehicle fire involving an employee of Southern Illinois University.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, they received the report of a burned vehicle found down an embankment off of Cedar Creed Road, about a half-mile west of Union Hill Road, in rural Makanda at about 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 10.

They say the preliminary investigation showed that the driver of a 2012 Dodge minivan, going westbound on Cedar Creek Road, failed to make a right-hand turn. It left the road and hit a tree, then went down an embankment and caught fire.

Officers say the driver of the van was found in the driver's seat. According to the sheriff's office, the victim has been identified as Cory Lee Warren, 26, of Marion, Illinois. 

Warren was an employee of the Southern Illinois University athletic department.

According to the university's website, the 2013 season was Cory Warren's second season serving as a Saluki graduate assistant in charge of the team's outside linebackers.

The vehicle was owned by the university.

The time of the crash has not been determined, however officers say it is believed have happened during the overnight hours between June 9 and June 10.

At the time when it was found, the fire had burned itself out.

The exact cause of death is pending a pathology report.

The Jackson County Coroner, Dr. Thomas Kupferer, scheduled an autopsy for Wednesday afternoon.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office and the Jackson County Coroner's Office is conducting the ongoing investigation. The SIU Department of Public Safety is assisting.

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