Sunday Sep 04 2011
Car slams into gas station pump causing explosion
By: Jon Brines, Press Tribune Correspondent
Driver, passenger escape without injury
A freak accident nearly turned tragic Sunday morning after a car slammed into a gas station pump. The accident happened just after 9:30 a.m. Sunday after a car with two people inside clipped the back end of a parked car and careened into the pump, causing a fire and subsequent explosion, according Roseville Police Sgt. Patrick Blake. Matt Scribner, who witnessed the incident at the Blue Oaks Boulevard Chevron station, said it appeared the driver was trying to avoid a collision before the accident. "Some lady was driving through here and she almost hit something and the guy with her grabbed the wheel and turned it," Scribner said. "She hit another car and spun out and hit one of the gas pumps." The incident completely toppled pump No. 12 before fire erupted underneath the car. Scribner said the driver and the passenger were able to escape before a small explosion engulfed their vehicle. "They got out of the car and took off running," Scribner said. "Luckily the car was low on fuel but there was a little tiny explosion." Blake said the gas station attendant was able to hit the emergency shut off before any further damage occurred. "Although the car was engulfed it didn't ignite the rest of the gas station. The pump has an emergency shut off, too," Blake said. "If the pump is hit it keeps the gas from spewing all over the place. The lady in the gas station hit the separate safety feature." The adjacent McDonald's restaurant was evacuated for about two hours as a precaution. Blake said Roseville firefighters were on scene within a minute and put the fire out quickly. The driver's name was not released. Blake said no injuries were reported. Blake said the driver was not cited. "She hit the wrong pedal according to statements on scene. She hit the gas instead of the brake," Blake said. "The passenger tried to avoid the collision by grabbing the steering wheel. The acceleration made everything a lot worse." Sean Comey, a spokesman for Chevron, credits the gas station employee with quick action to shut off the gas pumps. "The clerk on duty took the appropriate actions to address this situation after a car hit one of the gas pumps at this station," Comey said. "The fire department responded immediately. No injuries have been reported in connection with this incident. No gas was spilled and there appears to be no impact to the environment." Comey said customers won't be able to get gas at the Foothills and Blue Oaks station until repairs can be made but the convenience store remains open for business.