Local News

Police replace emergency lights after fiery cop car video

Posted June 18, 2008 11:04 a.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2008 4:29 p.m. EDT

— 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.