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Newly-released surveillance video from a Chandler gas station shows the moment a car crashes into a gas pump, causing an explosion and fire. The crash happened Oct. 24 at the AM-PM Arco at Chandler Boulevard and Alma School Road.
Police say Clemente Torres, who was allegedly impaired, was behind the wheel at the time of the fiery crash. Torres allegedly lost control of his Ford Mustang after making a U-turn as he pulled out of the gas station. In the surveillance video, you can see Torres’ Mustang crashing into another car and then plowing right into a gas pump. A moment later, the gas pump bursts into flames.
“I heard a bang and came outside and saw all the smoke and started hearing the tires pop from the car,” one witness said.
“Tires were squealing. There was rubber burning,” said another witness.
Moments later, as a gas station employee tries to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher, you can see Torres come back with a bottle of water and try to squirt water onto the fire. The flames continue to burn until fire crews show up with powerful hoses– finally putting out the fire. A woman pumping gas suffered second-degree burns in the fire.
Chandler police say Torres ran away from the fire and tried to walk home, but was later tracked down and arrested. Once police found Torres, they could smell a strong alcoholic odor on his breath.
When Torres was taken to the Chandler Police Department, he scored a .241 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) during his field sobriety tests, according to court documents. When police got in touch with Torres’ family, they said he was on his way to DUI Veterans Court in Tempe for a previous DUI arrest when this incident occurred.
Court documents say the cost of damage made to the vehicles, the gas pump and the overhang is estimated at $25,000.