Pursuit of San Francisco kidnapping suspect ends in deadly crash

EMERYVILLE, California -- A San Francisco police officer pursued two people across the Bay Bridge after reports that they had shoved a woman in the trunk. The pursuit ended in Emeryville, where the vehicle went up in flames and one person was killed.

Dramatic cell phone video shows officers dragging the driver away from his burning vehicle. Police say his car crashed into a light pole at W. MacArthur Boulevard and Peralta Street in Emeryville.

"The police officer, she pretty much held her calm," witness Curtis Portley said. "She held a gun on him for whatever reason and she asked someone for a fire extinguisher, and we were all yelling for this guy to get out of the car."

Several people tried to help. Rick McGee, a retired firefighter who happened to be driving nearby, injured his hand while rescuing the man.

"His legs were, I think, pinned," McGee said. "He couldn't take his seat belt off. I yelled for a knife. Someone gave me a knife. I cut the seat belt out and I pulled him out from the sun roof."

The suspect is now in critical condition, but his female passenger died.

San Francisco police say the pair was wanted for assaulting the woman before shoving her into the trunk.

Fortunately, police say the woman escaped well before the crash.

"We located her on Van Ness Avenue following the incident," SFPD Captain Carl Fabbri said. "Just to backtrack a little bit, she was able to get out of the trunk of that vehicle by using the emergency release lever. That's how she escaped the kidnapping."

Police say the victim was treated at the hospital and was in fair condition.

* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.