An Arlington man has died from injuries suffered when his car burst into flames on Rte. 7 in what police have termed a "suspicious" fire.
Chantha Kheng, 25, of 1001 S. Frederick St., died about 11:35 p.m. Thursday, Washington Hospital Center spokeswoman Barbara Oliver said yesterday. He had second- and third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body.
Rescuers responding to a call early Thursday found Kheng on fire a few hundred feet from his burning car on a ramp connecting Rte. 7 and I-66 near Falls Church.
An empty can of gasoline was found in the car and Kheng told rescuers on the scene that someone set him on fire, authorities said.
"At this point I would call it suspicious rather than a homicide," said Lt. J.W. Peterfish, a spokesman for the Virginia State Police. There were no witnesses to the incident.
Kheng told some family members that he had been beaten by several men but investigators have not been able to confirm this, said Peterfish.
At Kheng's home yesterday, a relative expressed bewilderment over his death. "We don't know any reason why this happened," said Suon Kim, a brother-in-law.
Kheng and his family are refugees from Cambodia. Kheng arrived in the United States in 1974 after spending four years in a refugee camp in Thailand. He worked as a dishwasher at the Tysons Corner Marriott Hotel.