PD: Speeding car leads to fiery crash in Akron

Posted at 1:03 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 17:40:59-05

A 43-year-old man was badly burned when a speeding car crashed into his truck carrying gasoline, causing an explosion, in Akron Wednesday evening.

Police said the speeding 23-year-old driver then tried to hide from police.

Officers were responding to a domestic dispute call on Donald Avenue around 9 p.m. when they heard what they believed to be a car crash, according to officials. 

When they went to investigate, they found a white Chevy Impala with front-end damage traveling at a high rate of speed.

Police tried to start a pursuit on Wilbeth Road, but canceled when the chase exceeded 90 mph.

"As soon as they felt it was unsafe, they stopped the pursuit," Captain Dan Zampelli said.

About a mile later, the car crashed into a Ford pickup truck at Wilbeth Road and Firestone Parkway. The truck, which was carrying gasoline in the bed, exploded on impact.

The fire fully engulfed the truck, police said.

James Dugan, of Mogadore, suffered burns on his hands and back. He was transported to the burn unit at  Akron Children's Hospital.

A witness captured cell phone video that captured the truck on fire and Dugan explaining how he escaped.

"I jumped out the window because it was on fire after it rolled three times," he said,

The driver of the car, identified Bryan Hicks, attempted to flee but was later found hiding behind a church, police said. He was also admitted to a local hospital for injuries to his leg and head. 

The passenger, a 17-year-old, had to be removed from the car by police officers. He is being treated for serious injuries to his head.

Once released from the hospital, Hicks is expected to be charged with aggravated vehicular assault and willful fleeing, along with other traffic violations. 

He will also be charged with carrying a concealed weapon and having a weapon while under disability after officers found two guns in his car.

The 17-year-old is also expected to be charged in juvenile court.