Local News

Police replace emergency lights after fiery cop car video

Posted June 18, 2008

— Youngsville police are replacing emergency bar lights on top of three of their patrol cars, the chief of police told WRAL Wednesday.

A YouTube video posted in March shows a Youngsville police car engulfed in flames as fire crews rush to douse the car.

Police Chief Larry Pritchett suspects the bar lights on the car may have contributed to the fire. Pritchett said the lights came from Chief Public Safety Equipment and Apparel in Charlotte. A company spokesman had no comment Wednesday afternoon.

On March 10, Officer Howard Crutchfield noticed steam coming from the hood of his patrol car when he returned from writing a ticket, the chief said. When he got in the car, Crutchfield noticed smoke and the car burst into flames before he could get back out.

The video, shot by an unknown person, shows the Dodge Charger going up in flames. “I witnessed this Youngsville cop car burn into ashes,” the person wrote. Crutchfield was unhurt.

Pritchett wouldn’t say for sure the fire was caused by the bar lights, but confirmed his office is in the process of replacing the lights on three cars of the same model.


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  • ArkAngels Jun 18, 2008

    Why is everyone, WRAL and The Franklin Times, just now reporting on this when it happened back in March? One of the posters on The Franklin Times website posted the youtube link last week and just now everyone decides to make a news story out of it?

  • bigredtruckman Jun 18, 2008

    Wow... he was really "burning up the road".

  • hooptie1964 Jun 18, 2008

    New meaing to "feeling the heat".

  • imnotsayinimjustsayin Jun 18, 2008

    Other agencies are apparently having electrical troubles with the new Dodge Chargers. Glad no one was hurt.

  • Chuck U Farley Jun 18, 2008

    Wow, glad the cop wasn't in it when that happened.