A pickup truck that was wanted by police in Peabody, Massachusetts, crashed on Route 1 in Lynnfield on Monday, according to state police, and the driver had to be taken by medical helicopter to a hospital in Boston.
The driver is facing criminal charges following the chase and subsequent crash, according to police. He's being treated for injuries including burns to his feet at Massachusetts General Hospital.
It all started when Peabody police started pursuing the pickup truck. Police were trying to pull the driver over for erratic driving but he refused to stop, leading them on a chase before ultimately crashing the truck.
Footage from a nearby surveillance camera showed the pickup truck lose control while speeding down the highway with police right behind it, then slam into the median divider, flying through air before wrapping around a highway sign pole and come to a stop facing the direction it came from.
The truck caught fire as police officers ran up to it. Aerial footage from the scene some minutes later showed it was still smoking.
"All I heard was a crash and that was it, and then the smoke, there was tons of smoke coming down through" said a man who was in the area at the time of the crash.
Employees at Kelly Jeep across the street also heard the crash. Surveillance video shows them running towards the burning truck to help.
"We noticed smoke coming up from the street and instantly we pretty much moved into action, where we started grabbing fire extinguishers and ran up to the vehicle," an employee named Jason said.
The car dealership employees used seven fire extinguishers to try and keep the flames at bay while police and fire worked to save the driver.
"First really what I was thinking was keep the flames low as possible so they could get the victim out of the vehicle," employee Steven Sheldon said.
Once the driver was freed from the vehicle, he was taken to a medical helicopter before being flown to a hospital in Boston. There was no word on his condition Monday night.
The driver's father, also Rob Pingaro, tells NBC10 Boston he woke up from a nap Monday afternoon and realized the keys to his truck and his ID were missing.
Pingaro's dad wants answers. He says he doesn't know why this happened and he hasn't really been able to talk to his son, who he says is at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"I wanna know why they were chasing my son on Route 1. Why were they chasing him in traffic on Route 1? They're not supposed to be doing that," he said. "My son almost died. I just saw it on the news."
The crash closed all southbound lanes of the highway and left just one northbound lane open, state police said.
Massachusetts State Police have only said they were on hand to assist Peabody police.
The damage to the truck is extensive, and a crane had to be brought in to it lift it up before it could be hauled away.
Police say the driver is facing criminal charges in connection to the incident, but specific charges were not provided by police as of late Monday night.