Edward Fergueson, 79, of Hermiston was the man firefighters found dead in a pickup last week after a fire on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
The Umatilla Tribal Police identified the body and have closed the investigation, according to a news release from Debra Croswell, deputy executive director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla indian Reservation.
The Umatilla Tribal Fire Department responded Wednesday, June 3, to a report of a wildfire southeast of Pendleton. Firefighters found a burned 2008 Chevrolet pickup at the scene and a burned body in the vehicle. The pickup apparently became stuck on the steep terrain near South Market Road and Red Hawk Lane.
Investigators determined Fergueson's pickup created the fire that led to his death, the news release said. The vehicle exhaust system ignited the dry grass in the field, starting the fire. Fergueson was overcome from smoke inhalation. There was no evidence of foul play.
Investigators, however, still don't know why Fergueson was at the location, a half mile west of the roadway.