(29 January 2007, Oregon) At 2:30 AM, a Volkswagon Jetta was hot-rodding down the interstate at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. Suddenly the vehicle lost traction, flipped over, cartwheeled, narrowly avoided a 100-foot plunge into the Clackamas River, and smashed through the wall of a garage.
The resident leapt out of bed and rushed down the hall and into the garage. A car was jammed halfway through the wall, resting on its passenger side, and the air was thick with gasoline fumes. And someone was rummaging around in the back seat!
"There's gas, there's gas!" the resident shouted.
"I need my knife." the figure yelled back. His knife? The figure flicked open a lighter, apparently to see better. The flame jumped from the lighter to the backseat, from the backseat to the front. In moments, the whole interior of the car was in flames!
Concerned neighbors grabbed a fire extinguisher, shattered the back window, and sprayed the inside. Just as the driver was pulled free through a rear window, the fumes exploded! The car kept burning until it was extinguished by firefighters.
The driver, 22, was lucky to survive with minor burns. He was cited for driving under the influence with a suspended license. After the excitement was over, the unfortunate residents of the apartment went to a friend's house for the remainder of the night. "We needed a nap."
(March 6, 2007, Texas) In a related incident, a flaming car crashed into a house in Waco. What happened? The vehicle had run out of gas earlier in the evening, and after replenishing the tank with a gas can, the driver tossed the empty can into the backseat. Later, while searching for the overturned gas can, he flicked a lighter... giving a new meaning to the term, "hot-rod." Since discretion is the better part of valor, the brave driver abandoned the burning car and watched as it rolled into a nearby house. One wonders just how he explained things to the homeowner. "I dropped the Olympic torch while delivering it to Beijing"?
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Submitted by: Bill B Peters, Larry Breen
Reference: The Oregonian, www.oregonlive.com, Waco Tribune-Herad (Texas)