RUSH TOWNSHIP - Two people died Monday when the pickup in which they were riding crashed on a rural road, flipped onto its roof and burned.

Names of the deceased were withheld Monday by state police pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.

The victims were traveling east on Rushtown Road in a 1991 Dodge Ram 2500 shortly before 11 a.m. when they lost control while rounding a left curve, drove off the road and struck an embankment and a tree, according to Cpl. George Ritchey, state police at Stonington.

The pickup rolled over after impact. It came to rest on its roof and caught on fire, Ritchey said.

Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley said contact has been made with those who are believed to be relatives of one of the victims. There has been no contact yet with relatives of the other.

Postmortem X-rays have been completed. Kelley will seek the victims' dental records for comparison in order to confirm the their identities.

The crash occurred about 3/10 of a mile east of Bella's Hollow Road - north of Snydertown Road, about five miles west of Elysburg.

Firefighters arrived within five minutes of the initial dispatch and were able to extinguish the fire quickly, but it's not known how long the truck may have been burning, said Elysburg Fire Department Chief Dennis Kroh.

Initially, emergency personnel were called to a vehicle accident with entrapment. When the first responder arrived, however, the vehicle was engulfed in flames, Kroh said.

The coroner's office was contacted shortly after the blaze was extinguished, he said.

While emergency personnel worked to clean up the scene, the smell of smoke lingered. The trunk of a small tree and several branches more than 15 feet above the vehicle were burned black. Bark was missing from a tree believed to be the spot where the truck first went off the road.

The pickup's cab was smashed level with the top of the box. All four tires were burned off, leaving only the metal rims, and the paint was gone.

At approximately 1 p.m., a crew from Jeff's Auto Body and Recyling, Paxinos, flipped the pickup back onto its wheels and loaded it onto a flatbed truck.

An investigation continues.

Assisting at state police and Kelley at the scene were Deputy Coroner James Gotlob along with Elysburg and Danville emergency medical services, Elysburg Fire Company and Overlook Fire Company.