A suspected drunk driver with kids in her car veered off of a highway and right into a gas pump at a Ceres, California, gas station. Amazingly, nobody was injured in this violent crash and it highlights a crucial safety system that gas pumps have.
On Sunday, a 2010 Nissan came flying off of Highway 99 in downtown Ceres, California, reports CBS 13 Sacramento. The driver of the Nissan (which appears to be a Maxima), had her four and five year old children in the backseat. She barreled into one of the gas pumps of the gas station at such a high rate of speed that the Nissan launched into the air as the pump burst into flames.
The crash caused chaos as everyone tried to evacuate the area. Surveillance video shows various people making a run for it. The driver of a red Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban near the stricken pump can be seen moving so swiftly that they pulled someone straight through one of the rear windows of the SUV.
The Ceres Fire Department arrived on scene and put out the fire on the destroyed pump while the driver and her children were sent to a local hospital.
It’s easy to wonder why the fire wasn’t any worse. After all, we’ve seen a lot of gas station crashes, but none of them ended with Hollywood fires and explosions. As service technician Joe Batholdi explained to CBS 13, this is because the pumps have a safety system in place for this exact scenario.
Emergency Shear Valves are valves installed on the pipes that provide fuel to gas pumps. When a pump topples over, a groove in the top of the valve breaks off and the valve seals itself. This prevents further damage to the pipes and more importantly, helps prevent the addition of more fuel into a crash.
As for the driver, she was charged with DUI and child endangerment. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries reported and the fire was extinguished before it could spread to buildings or vehicles.