MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (AP) -- Authorities in southern Illinois say a man who opted to sleep in his car rather than drive home after attending a New Year's Eve party died when the engine caught fire and engulfed the vehicle.
Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Marks says 25-year-old Thomas Underwood of Mount Vernon died early Saturday inside his 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Marks says Underwood started the car and turned on the heater, then fell asleep before the engine caught fire.
Another couple who were sleeping in their car awakened to the sound of one of Underwood's tires exploding and tried to put out the blaze with garden hoses.
Private funeral services are planned with Hughey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon.
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