(SARALAND, Ala.) - One man has died from his injuries after the stolen truck he was driving in slammed into a gas station pump in Saraland.
Witnesses said the pickup truck was traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour on Highway 43 when the driver lost control trying to dodge traffic by driving on the grass alongside the roadway.
“He couldn’t go around us to the left side because there was another car there,” Trevor Grantham, the driver who the suspects tried to pass, told Local 15. “As soon as those tires hit the grass, [the truck’s tires] started spinning. The truck turned [back onto the highway]… and as soon as the tires caught that asphalt, [the truck] started flipping.”
Grantham said the truck rolled across the highway and slammed into a pump at a busy gas station on the other side.
”As soon as he hit the pump, it just blew up, engulfed in flames,” Grantham said, “There was a second explosion, real big, just like a wall of flame.”
Mobile Police, who had been pursuing the stolen truck, pulled up seconds after impact.
Grantham said they pulled the two men inside the truck from the burning wreckage.
Firefighters quickly doused the flames to prevent a major explosion, which could have been devastating. There’s a mobile home park directly behind the gas station.
Investigators said it all started Tuesday afternoon on Laurel Drive in Mobile. They say three unknown suspects approached two victims, armed with guns, and demanded keys to their trucks and took off in the stolen vehicles.
A police officer later spotted one of the stolen trucks traveling north on Telegraph Road in Prichard. Two subjects were inside. The driver refused to stop, and led police on a high speed chase north on Highway 43 into Saraland, where the driver eventually lost control and crashed into the gas station.
No bystanders were seriously injured. One customer at the gas station was treated for minor injuries, but police say he did not require hospitalization.
One of the suspects in the crash later died in the hospital. The condition and identity of the second subject brought to the hospital has not been released. Police said they’re still looking for the third suspect who was involved in the carjacking.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that Tuesday’s carjacking is connected to the Old Catholic Cemetery carjacking on Monday. An elderly couple was visiting a grave site when police said two men demanded their keys at gunpoint and drove off in their Impala. Police said the two carjacking incidents happened in very close proximity.