Driver of stolen van dies in fiery crash in East Oakland neighborhood; 2 officers injured – CBS San Francisco

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The driver of a stolen pickup truck being tracked by police was killed in a fire accident in an East Oakland neighborhood after hitting a strip of spikes on Wednesday. Two police officers were injured while trying to rescue the driver.

Oakland Police said officers were dispatched to the 8400 block of Ney around 10:45 a.m. and located the occupied stolen van. Officers installed strips of spikes in an attempt to demobilize the vehicle and avoid a pursuit. However, the van drove off after hitting the spike strip.

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Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said the van was not being actively pursued by patrol units, but was followed by a police helicopter.

With damaged tires, the van continued to drive west for approximately two miles and the tires caught fire. The van then hit the fence of a house located on 63rd Avenue and Avenue Avenal, engulfed in flames.

The wreckage of a burnt-out pickup truck is seen in the area of ​​63rd Street and Avenal Avenue in Oakland, March 2, 2022. (CBS)

“Once those tires caught fire, the entire pickup truck was engulfed in flames,” Armstrong said. “The individual inside the van was unable to extricate himself from the van. As soon as they arrived at the scene, officers attempted to extract the gentleman from the van. Unfortunately, he is died as a result of the fire.

Two officers were taken to hospital for burns and injuries after trying to rescue the driver, police said.

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Nearby residents heard helicopters hovering overhead and saw the van on fire.

“We just saw the helicopters flying earlier, then we finally saw smoke and walked around the corner,” an unidentified neighbor said. “We just saw the truck on fire, and I didn’t think about it. I just thought it was just a fire and just went home, but obviously it’s more than that.

The wreckage was then covered with a tarp. A large area around the van was cordoned off and evidence markers littered the ground around the scene.

The fire also burned the damaged fence and a vehicle on the other side of it. Armstrong did not identify the suspect and said the van was also carrying some kind of accelerators.

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The driver has not been identified.

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