SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A dramatic police chase from San Francisco ended in a fiery fatal crash in Emeryville after officers pursued two kidnapping suspects across the bay, according to authorities.
Video shows flames consuming the suspect vehicle after the crash that witnesses said forced a desperate effort to pull people to safety.
According to police, the chase started in San Francisco and ended at West MacArthur and Peralta in Emeryville near the Oakland border at about 3:19 p.m. when the suspect vehicle hit another car before slamming into a light pole.
Bright orange flames leaped out of the mangled wreckage at the intersection as police officers sprayed fire extinguishers to put out the blaze.
Bystanders rushed in to help pull out the man who was driving the car. San Francisco police later confirmed that a passenger in the suspect vehicle, a woman, died in the crash.
An adult victim in the car the suspect vehicle struck, a silver Chrysler, was also being treated for injuries.
“The vehicle crashed behind me. The driver is in critical condition and the passenger was killed in the accident,” said San Francisco Police Captain Carl Fabbri.
Police said the incident began shortly before 3 p.m. when a female victim was assaulted and forced into the trunk of the car at Leavenworth and Turk streets in San Francisco. Police said she was able to pull a lever inside the trunk and escape when the car was in the area of Van Ness Avenue.
“The victim is being treated at a San Francisco hospital,” said Fabbri.
She is currently in “fair” condition.
It was after the victim had escaped from the suspect vehicle that it was spotted by police as it got on the and led SFPD officers on the pursuit across the Bay Bridge. However, police said they followed the vehicle without using the patrol car’s lights or sirens, noting it was not a high-speed pursuit.
The area of West MacArthur Boulevard and Peralta Street in Emeryville was closed for several hours while police complete an investigation into the fatal crash.
The injured driver rescued by bystanders is now in critical condition and under arrest.
So far, police have not released the identities of the suspects or the victim and have not said if the victim knew the suspects.