This high-speed car chase made for great live television news — until the desperate driver slammed into a guardrail and his Ford Mustang exploded in flames.
As police chased the suspect along an East Los Angeles freeway late last night, a Sky5 helicopter kept a camera focused on the action.
"You can see him blowing through the traffic," a reporter up in the air is heard saying, as the footage aired live on KTLA-TV.
The suspected drunken driver approached speeds of 180km/h as he zipped along the freeway, darting between cars.
But this chase did not follow the usual script of police stopping the car and dragging the suspect onto the pavement for a dramatic arrest.
As the Mustang approached a freeway interchange, the driver suddenly lost control and ended up engulfed in a huge fireball.
"Losing control – into the side wall – smash – overturned car – boom – on fire!" the reporter is heard shouting.
"That was a tremendous crash."
But KTLA-TV anchors in the studio appear to try to curb the reporter's enthusiasm for what was a potentially disastrous turn of events, urging him to "stay wide" in his vision of the wreck, lest viewers were exposed to any gruesome images.
Despite the flames, the driver was rescued from the burning vehicle and rushed to hospital.
His condition is currently unknown.
Author: Erin Tennant, Approving editor: Mark Worley