Authorities continue to investigate the weekend death of a 45-year-old Anderson County man who died as a result of injuries sustained in a four-wheeler accident, but say it appears accidental.

John Freeman, 45, of Tennessee Colony died Saturday after flipping the four-wheeler he was operating and having it roll over him twice, according to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor.

The fatal accident occurred shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday in a field off of CR 2809 near Tennessee Colony, according to the sheriff.

"There were several people riding four-wheelers out in a field and this individual, John Freeman, age 45, flipped his four-wheeler," Taylor said Monday. "It rolled twice with him on it. The other people who were riding went to get help."

The sheriff said it appears Freeman hit a "rut" caused by wild hogs who commonly root in East Texas counties. The deceased man was reportedly traveling at "a high rate of speed" and not wearing a helmet, Taylor added.

First responders with the Westside and Tennessee Colony volunteer fire departments responded to the accident, according to Taylor. Freeman was subsequently lifeflighted to Palestine Regional Medical Center, the sheriff added.

As of late Monday afternoon, Taylor said he was still uncertain whether Freeman died en route to or at the hospital.

Due to a communication breakdown, the sheriff said his agency did not learn of Freeman's death until Monday. The initial 9-1-1 call was received by his agency, but the extent of the man's injuries were unknown at that time, he added.

The 9-1-1 call was "patched" through to Emergency Medical Services, the sheriff said, and representatives of his agency subsequently dispatched First Responders to the scene.

Taylor said Freeman's death appeared to be accidental.

"We're going to take statements," Taylor said. "It's something we need to look into, just to be sure. It appears, in all likelihood, to be a tragic accident."

The sheriff said four-wheel riders always need to exercise proper caution.

"It's dangerous to ride a four-wheeler at any rate of speed when you can't see the terrain," Taylor said. "You need to wear a safety helmet and control your speed."

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