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Racing car crashes into gas pump, sparks explosion

March 4, 2011 3:52:17 AM PST
A high-speed drag race on the Long Island Expressway ended when one of the drivers lost control and crashed into gas station pumps.

Surveillance video shows the point of impact as the Dodge Neon strikes the gas pump, causing a major explosion.

The video shows a passenger running for his life. It all happened in a matter of seconds at the Gulf station at exit 58.

Authorities say just after midnight, Deputy Sheriff Jamie Bustemante clocked two cars drag racing at 145 miles per hour.

By the time he caught up to them, the red Neon had already crashed into the pump

According to investigators, 21-year-old Jeffrey Brown and 20-year-old Joseph Skarka were in the middle of a dangerous high speed race. Brown was driving a yellow Mitsubishi and Skarka was behind the wheel of his girlfriend's Dodge Neon.

After clocking the two drivers, Bustemante says they tried to exit the highway. That's when Skarka slammed into the gas pump and the other driver plowed into a fence of nearby Hooters restaurant.

Miraculously, no one was seriously injured. Investigators say Skarka and a passenger managed to escape a the ball of fire that could have been a death trap.

Both are charged with engaging in an unlawful speed contest, second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, criminal mischief, unlawful fleeing from a police officer and speeding.

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