JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A scary video shows the moment a driver who appeared to be fleeing from Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office cruisers on Thursday slammed into multiple vehicles at a Westside intersection.
According to viewer Andrew Hatch who sent the video to News4JAX, the crash happened at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and Blanding Boulevard on Thursday evening.
“I’m very blessed to have been able to go home to my wife that evening,” Hatch told News4JAX on Friday.
The video shows the driver of a silver car speeding through a red light and colliding with a Jeep and a Toyota.
The driver of the silver car, which briefly catches fire after the crash, can be seen quickly jumping out of the car after the crash and running off while JSO cruisers follow closely behind.
Hatch said he barely missed the fiery crash.
“You couldn’t have seen it coming,” he said.
Hatch said he knows he could have seriously hurt or died in the crash.
“Honestly that was going through my mind every second after I saw this accident, pretty much I was driving I heard this loud bang, but suddenly I see another car flinging around, I see flames, it hits the car that was right in front of me and just over it was a very frightening experience,” he said.
News4JAX Crime and Safety Analyst Lakesha Burton said the video shows just how dangerous the person driving the car is.
“Anytime police officers are chasing a vehicle involved in a pursuit a couple of things you should know that they reasonably believe that this individual has committed a forcible felony,” Burton said.
Burton said officers are trained to slow down and look before driving through and intersection as they pursue a suspect and added that crashes like the one Hatch witnessed are rare.
“They definitely look at the speed limit, how fast the suspect is driving, weather conditions, really a lot, if there are pedestrians, how many cars are out, any dangerous factors that they definitely will take into consideration to determine whether or not they would continue or stop the pursuit,” Burton said.
Burton said if anyone ever finds themselves in the middle of a police chase they should stay out of the way.
It was not immediately clear why JSO was chasing the driver, if they were caught or if anyone was injured in the crash.
News4JAX reached out to JSO for more information but it said the crash report hasn’t been completed yet.