Police and onlookers watched in amazement as the driver in a hit-and-run accident attempted to flee the scene in a flaming truck. According to NBC News, the truck driver slammed into another vehicle then fled with his own truck on fire, eventually abandoning the vehicle as it burned.
"That Truck Is On Fire!"
The initial crash took place between a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle on Carmenita Road at South Street, according to the California Highway Patrol. There were three passengers in the SUV and one individual in the pickup truck. Although details of the crash were sketchy, what is clear is that after the crash the engine of the pickup truck began smoldering, with smoke visibly exiting the engine compartment and suggesting the vehicle was on fire.
However, the driver of the pickup fled the scene despite the fire in his vehicle's engine. As he drove, air apparently fanned the flames, causing them to become much heavier. At Indiana Street and Orangethorpe Avenue, the driver eventually exited the vehicle, unable to endure the fire any longer. He was arrested at that location with a minor laceration to his face. There is no word that he suffered any injuries from the fire itself.
The three victims in the SUV were taken to the hospital as a precaution. However, there is no word that their injuries appear to be life-threatening.
Hit-and-Run an Epidemic in California
Recent reports on hit-and-run drivers highlight the extent of this problem in California. According to a white paper published by the American Auto Association, up to half of the drivers in California who are involved in hit-and-run accidents are unlicensed, and almost half of all accidents involve a hit-and-run driver. If these figures are representative of the typical experience of California drivers, you have a one in four chance of being the victim of a hit-and-run driver with no license or insurance.
Because of the high numbers of hit-and-run drivers and the problems they create for law-abiding citizens, it is extremely important that those who witness these accidents give authorities as much cooperation as possible. There are easy ways for witnesses to turn in hit-and-run drivers anonymously, including the Hit-and-Run Reward program. Witnesses can call 1-800-644-8678 or visit the website to report hit-and-run accidents. There are rewards available of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of a driver who has committed a hit-and-run.
In many cases, these drivers are identified by friends or family members rather than those who witness the accident. If someone in your family or one of your friends has been involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is always better for that person to contact authorities and surrender rather than continue to deny the facts of the case.
If you have been injured by a hit-and-run driver, there are still ways you can collect money for your medical bills and other expenses. Talk to a hit-and-run accident attorney immediately to find out what you can do to recover damages.