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Stuck Driver Dies After Refusing to Let Off the Gas

Police in NJ say SUV was 'engulfed in flames'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2021 3:39 AM CST

(Newser) – A New Jersey driver stuck in a snowbank burned to death after he refused to stop revving the engine, police and firefighters in Little Ferry say. Police say the driver, a 62-year-old local man, got stuck in the snow Wednesday morning after jumping a parking divider, the Daily Voice reports. Police Chief James Walters says police officers called to the scene by a city worker found the man repeatedly revving his engine. The officers banged on the window to tell the man that he wouldn't be able to drive out of the snowbank and a tow truck was on the way, but he "totally ignored them" and "wouldn't let off the gas," Walters says. The chief says soon afterward, the officers saw flames below the man's Mazda CX-5, reports NJ.com.

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One officer ran to fetch a fire extinguisher while the other tried to break a window to rescue the man, but by the time he managed to break a rear window, the interior of the vehicle was "fully engulfed in flames" and it was too late to save him, Walters says, per CNN. The driver, burned beyond recognition, was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation is underway. "It’s odd why it caught fire the way it did," Walters says. "We don’t know right now whether it’s suspicious or not. But it happened so fast. That’s strange." (Read more New Jersey stories.)

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