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Police Pull Man From Burning Car in Madison Valley

Officers pulled a man from a burning car—as rounds of ammunition in the vehicle began to explode—late Monday after the man eluded officers and crashed into a tree in Madison Valley Monday night.

At 9:40 p.m., officers on patrol near Martin Luther King Jr Way South and East Yesler Way attempted to stop the driver of a white sedan after they saw him staring down at his cellphone while driving. The motorist failed to yield and sped away. Shortly after, a pedestrian told police the vehicle had gone north of East Cherry Street on Martin Luther King Junior Way.

Officers began to search the area, and soon found that the driver had crashed into a tree in the 1800 block of Martin Luther King Jr Way. At least two homes and an unoccupied vehicle were damaged by pieces of the car, including a tire, that flew off from the impact of the collision. The driver was still in the car when police arrived, and the vehicle had caught fire. Officers and a bystander worked to quickly extricate the man from the car, just before it went up in flames.

As the car caught fire, apparent rounds of ammunition began igniting inside the vehicle. Thankfully no one was injured by the exploding rounds. Officers later collected a firearm magazine from the scene.

Seattle Fire Department firefighters responded to the scene to extinguish the fire and treat the male driver. Medics transported him to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition.

Police continue to investigate, but plan to arrest the man, after he completes his treatment at Harborview, for eluding and unlawful possession of ammunition—which he is not allowed to possess as a convicted felon— as well as a domestic violence-related warrant for assault in the second degree, harassment, property damage and violation of a no-contact order.