PRESS RELEASE – May 26, 2019

Published on May 27, 2019 at 12:47p.m.

Menlo Park Fire Protection District - Fiery Multi-Vehicle Accident sends 5 to the Hospital 

12.28 am Sunday Morning - Menlo Park Fire Engine 6 was dispatched to a reported vehicle fire at Santa Cruz Avenue and El Camino Real.

Upon their arrival at 1231 am, Captain Seth Johnson on Engine 6 reported “we have a multi-vehicle accident at Oak Grove Avenue and El Camino Real with two vehicles involved, one has crashed into a pole at the intersection and the other is on fire, a hundred feet down South Bound El Camino with a trail of fuel in the street burning behind it”.

Pictured above - Menlo Park Firefighter Ryle Fitzgerald uses a metal cutting circular saw to cut open the hood of a burned out 1965 Buick Riviera that was involved with a small SUV at the intersection of Oak Grove and El Camino Real early Sunday morning in Menlo Park. The SUV (silver four door vehicle) can be seen crashed into the traffic signal pole - Credit Menlo Fire

The incident was expanded to a vehicle accident which added one more Fire Engine, an Aerial Ladder Truck and Battalion Chief For a total of 11 fire personnel.

The solo male driver of a small four door SUV had apparently struck the much larger 1960’s era two door Buick Riviera containing four occupants, two male and two female young adults, at the intersection.

The small SUV then crashed into a traffic signal pole, the driver, a man in his 30’s or 40’s was treated by Firefighter Paramedics and transported by Ambulance to Stanford Hospital with reported head and upper body injuries.

The 1965 Buick Riviera sustained major rear end impact damage that also punctured the vehicles fuel tank, causing it to catch on fire. The vehicle, which traveled about a hundred feet down El Camino Real, came to rest in front of the Mattress Firm Store, with the four occupants trapped in the vehicle.

The four occupants of the Buick reported that they attempted to escape from the burning vehicle but the doors would not open and were jammed shut by the collision. The four were trapped inside of the vehicle as it started to fill with smoke. After tremendous effort, which included pounding and kicking on the drivers side door, the four were able to escape the burning and severely damaged vehicle and not a moment to soon before the interior of the vehicle also caught on fire.

Pictured above - Menlo Park Engineer/Paramedic Kevin White finishes extinguishing a 1965 Buick Riviera that was involved in a fieryvehicle accident, while other Fire Personnel treat the four occupants for smoke inhalation and injuries down the street, early Sunday morning in Menlo Park at the intersection of Oak Grove Avenue and El Camino Real - Credit Menlo Fire

Firefighter Paramedics treated the two male and two female occupants. All complained of smoke inhalation, two sustained second degree burns and impact related body injuries. Both were transported to Stanford Hospital by Ambulance. The other two victims decided to drive with someone else to the Hospital.

Pictured above - Menlo Park Firefighter Ryle Fitzgerald uses a metal cutting circular saw to cut open the hood of a burned out 1965 Buick Riviera that was involved with a small SUV at the intersection of Oak Grove and El Camino Real early Sunday morning in Menlo Park - Credit Menlo Fire

Mean while firefighters extinguished the burning street and vehicle fire. Captain Johnson commented “that it looked like a scene in the movie “Back to Future” with ribbons of fire in the street trailing behind the vehicle”.

Fire Chief Schapelhouman said “this was a terrible vehicle accident that could have easily turned tragic if the four occupants of the Buick were unable to escape the vehicle or if it had ended up inside one of the commercial buildings that border El Camino Real, catching it on Fire. Fortunately, that did not occur and all five individuals should survive this event”.

For more information on this vehicle accident, please contact the Menlo Park Police Department.

More: Home News