Police say a woman shoved into the trunk of a car managed to escape before a police chase from San Francisco to Emeryville that ended in a fatal crash.
EMERYVILLE, Calif. (KGO) — A San Francisco police officer pursued two people across the Bay Bridge after reports that they had shoved a woman in the trunk. The pursuit ended in Emeryville, where the vehicle went up in flames and one person was killed.
Dramatic cell phone video shows officers dragging the driver away from his burning vehicle. Police say his car crashed into a light pole at W. MacArthur Boulevard and Peralta Street in Emeryville.
“The police officer, she pretty much held her calm. She held a gun on him for whatever reason and she asked someone for a fire extinguisher and we were all yelling for this guy to get out of the car,” said Curtis Portlay, a witness to the crash’s aftermath.
Several people tried to help. Rick McGee injured his hand while rescuing the man. He’s a retired firefighter who happened to be driving nearby. “His legs were I think pinned. He couldn’t take his seat belt off. I yelled for a knife. Someone gave me a knife. I cut the seat belt out and I pulled him out from the sunroof,” said McGee.
The suspect is now in critical condition, but his female passenger died. San Francisco police say the pair was wanted for assaulting a woman in the Tenderloin before shoving her into the trunk.
Fortunately, police say the woman escaped well before the crash.
“We located her on Van Ness Avenue following the incident. Just to backtrack a little bit, she was able to get out of the trunk of that vehicle by using the emergency release lever. That’s how she escaped the kidnapping,” said SFPD Capt. Carl Fabbri.
Police say the victim was treated at the hospital and was in fair condition.