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Man burned after car crashes into TN gas pump

4:43 PM, Jul 5, 2013   |    comments
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A man walking across the parking lot of the Exxon station on Riverside Drive was burned after a car struck the gas pump. The man was able to avoid being struck by the vehicle but was unable to avoid the fire from the explosion. THE LEAF-CHRONICLE/ROBERT SMITH

By Philip Grey / Leaf-Chronicle

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - On Thursday morning at around 8:11 a.m., a white 2008 Lincoln MKZ driven by John Ward was traveling south on Riverside Drive, striking a gas pump in an incident that left one pedestrian burned.

Clarksville Police have identified the man who was burned in the crash as Chris Porter of Clarksville. He remains in critical but stable condition in the Vanderbilt burn unit. 

According to Clarksville Police Department Officer Charles Gill, the vehicle went into oncoming traffic and left the roadway, striking the gas pump at the Exxon at 715 S. Riverside Drive, causing an explosion and injuring one person.

Ray Williams of the Clarksville Fire Department said a male pedestrian had left G's Pancake House to make a purchase at the gas station convenience store and was exiting when the accident happened.

The man was walking through the parking lot and was able to avoid being struck by the vehicle but was unable to avoid the fire from the explosion.

"He was an innocent bystander just caught up in the fireball," said Williams, who stated the man had third-degree burns on 40 percent of his body.

Williams called the burns, "severe and life-threatening."

According to Williams, Lifeflight could not be used at the time of the incident due to weather, and the man was taken by ground transport to Gateway Hospital for eventual transfer to the burn unit at Vanderbilt University.

Williams said the fire department received the alarm at 8:14, response time was three minutes and that the fire was put out three minutes later.

"The automatic (gas) shut-off worked like it was supposed to," Williams said, "which helped in getting it (the fire) under control.

"There were two vehicles destroyed in the fire - the vehicle that crashed into the pump and another one that was just parked there that belonged to the owner of the gas station."

Fire officials allowed the convenience store to stay open but not to sell gas.

Gill said that no further information on the injured pedestrian could be released until his family was notified.

The crash is being investigated by a Fatal Crash investigator with the Clarksville Police Department.

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