The driver of a seventh-generation Nissan Maxima is extremely lucky to be alive after veering off a highway in California and slamming into a gas pump. The fiery incident was caught on tape by a nearby surveillance camera.
Firefighters in Ceres, a town about 80 miles south of Sacramento, told local news channel CBS 13 that the 23-year-old woman driving the sedan lost control on Highway 99 and jumped a curb before ramming into one of the pumps at a Shell station at speed. She was traveling with 4- and 5-year-old kids; miraculously, no one was hurt.
The impact was powerful enough to knock the pump off of its concrete foundation, causing a relatively small fire and crumpling the Maxima as bystanders looked on or fled in panic. The driver of the red Chevrolet Tahoe is lucky to be alive, too. In the movies, a director would have undoubtedly staged a series of phenomenal explosions followed by footage of a crater where the station once was. In reality, the pump's built-in safety system (including emergency shear valves) shut off the fuel flow immediately after the impact to prevent a more destructive — and potentially deadly — fire. Modern gas pumps are designed to withstand a violent crash like the one shown in the video above.
Firefighters were able to put out the blaze in a timely manner, so the damage is reasonably minor. Police officers charged the woman with driving under the influence (DUI) and child endangerment. As for the Maxima, it's toast.