Sunday, August 31, 2008
Man Dies in Fiery Crash
By Sean Olson
Journal Staff Writer
A man is dead after leading Albuquerque police on a chase that ended in a fiery crash early Saturday morning, APD spokesman John Walsh said.
Two others are at University of New Mexico Hospital for injuries related to the incident.
One woman was run over by the suspect's truck while the motorist was driving "recklessly" in the parking lot of the all-ages nightclub Fantasia, and another was a passenger in the truck when it crashed, Walsh said.
"All of his driving was extraordinarily dangerous to the public," Walsh said.
The chase ended after the truck hit the overpass while trying to exit westbound Interstate 40 at Sixth Street going extremely fast, Walsh said. The truck immediately burst into flames, but officers were able to pull the passenger out of the wreckage, he said.
The driver was pinned inside the truck and could not be rescued before the truck was completely covered by "intense" fire, Walsh said.
The name of the man has not been released, nor were the names of the victim and passenger.
The woman hit by the truck was treated for several bone fractures, and the passenger was treated for "minor injuries," Wash said. The woman is in her late teens or early 20s, while the passenger is in his late teens. Both are expected to recover.
Officers were called to the Fantasia parking lot on McCloud near San Mateo about 1:30 a.m. after people reported the orange and yellow truck driving erratically, Walsh said.
The truck had left the scene before officers got there but returned minutes later, he said. It then hit the woman, who witnesses say might have been struck on purpose, he said. The truck nearly hit an officer on foot trying to stop the truck before it fled the area.
A police car caught up with the truck near I-25 and Jefferson and started the chase, which followed I-25 south to I-40 west before reaching the Sixth Street exit, Walsh said. The chase lasted about four minutes.
The investigation is under way, but no charges have been filed against the passenger in the truck.
Fantasia is an all-ages nightclub with a closed-off area for alcohol sales.