Car crashes into Casselberry gas pump, sparking huge fire

Driver arrested after wreck at BP on S.R. 436 at Howell Branch Road

CASSELBERRY, Fla. - Casselberry police say a reckless driver who lost control on a turn crashed into a gas pump, starting a fire that narrowly avoided becoming a massive explosion.

The driver, later identified as 27-year-old Joseph Coon, crashed into a pump at the BP on State Road 436 at Howell Branch Road about 2 a.m. Friday.

Officers say they witnessed the driver speeding down S.R. 436 running several red lights. As they were getting ready to pull him over, the driver tried to make a turn, but lost control screeching into the pump, police said.

A fire sparked on impact, but the quick thinking of a clerk prevented disaster. Cesar Valencia was outside on a smoke break when he witnessed the accident. As soon as he saw the fire, he hit the emergency gas shutoff valve.

Police arrested the driver on charges of reckless driving, hit and run leaving the scene of a crash with property damage and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Managers at the BP say the gas remains off, and they most likely won't be able to sell gas for a few days.

No one was injured in the crash or fire.

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