An Ephrata man is dead following a single-vehicle accident in rural Grant County on Sunday night.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office says the incident occurred at around 9:30 p.m. when a van driven by 44-year-old Gabriel O'Neel was turning from Road A Northwest onto Road 12.3 Northwest and struck a boulder.

Sheriff's office spokesperson, Kyle Foreman, says O'Neel is believed to have been speeding when he impacted the boulder, causing the van to vault and come to rest off the roadway on its driver's side.

"Traffic investigators were out doing their measurements and calculations, and they concluded that it was clear he (O'Neel) was driving at a high rate of speed when he collided with the boulder. It displaced the boulder about fifteen feet and the vehicle flew about another thirty feet beyond where it contacted the boulder."

Foreman says there are no embankments above the roadway in the area, so it isn't known for large rocks falling on the roadway.

"It appears that property owners in the area put some boulders there to keep vehicles from driving off the road. So the boulders in the area were lined up to guide cars onto Road 12.3 (Northwest)."

First responders extricated O'Neel from the van and attempted life-saving measures, but he died at the scene.

O'Neel was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt.

The Grant County Coroner's Office will perform an autopsy to determine O'Neel's exact cause of death later in the week.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Motor Traffic Unit is still investigating the accident.

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