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Second child in US 74 vehicle fire dies, troopers say

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Officials with the North Carolina Highway Patrol confirmed the 6-year-old girl who initially escaped the burning vehicle has died. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Troopers say a second child involved in Tuesday night's vehicle fire along the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway has died.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol say a 6-year-old girl died Wednesday morning from her injuries after being taken to a hospital in Winston-Salem

Troopers say 26-year-old Christine Frost of Lenoir was driving west on U.S 74 on July 3, 2018, with her two young children when her 2004 Buick Rendezvous caught fire.

According to authorities, the mother and her 6-year-old daughter escaped the vehicle, but the 2-year-old, who was trapped, died.

Highway Patrol says the mother and the 6-year-old were taken from Mission Hospital to a Winston-Salem hospital with critical injuries.

Troopers said Thursday that the mother was still in critical condition.

Authorities said the fire was due to a vehicle malfunction. Troopers are investigating, but say it is difficult since there is not much left of the vehicle. They’ve called in a reconstruction team to help determine what may have started the fire.