The crash caused chaos as everyone tried to evacuate the area. Surveillance video shows various people making a run for it. The driver of a red Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban near the stricken pump can be seen moving so swiftly that they pulled someone straight through one of the rear windows of the SUV.


The Ceres Fire Department arrived on scene and put out the fire on the destroyed pump while the driver and her children were sent to a local hospital.

It’s easy to wonder why the fire wasn’t any worse. After all, we’ve seen a lot of gas station crashes, but none of them ended with Hollywood fires and explosions. As service technician Joe Batholdi explained to CBS 13, this is because the pumps have a safety system in place for this exact scenario.

Image for article titled Gas Pump Safety System Saves The Day After Suspected Drunk Driver Plows Into Gas Station
Screenshot: CBS 13 / YouTube

Emergency Shear Valves are valves installed on the pipes that provide fuel to gas pumps. When a pump topples over, a groove in the top of the valve breaks off and the valve seals itself. This prevents further damage to the pipes and more importantly, helps prevent the addition of more fuel into a crash.

As for the driver, she was charged with DUI and child endangerment. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries reported and the fire was extinguished before it could spread to buildings or vehicles.