Three teens narrowly escaped the flames with only minor injuries and a little singed hair Saturday afternoon when the car they were in left the road and struck a gas meter for New Millennium Building Systems on Highway 32 north of Hope.
According to law enforcement, Jonathan Rodriguez, of Hope, was driving his sister’s black 2007 Mazda MZ3 east on 32 at about 3:50 p.m. when, he told deputies, he lost control of the car while passing an 18 wheeler.
The Mazda left the north side of the highway at New Millennium’s main entrance, crashed into the plant’s fence and then into the gas meter. The impact destroyed the meter and ignited the natural gas that was escaping the broken line. The flames ignited the car but the three juveniles managed to get away from the car before it was completely engulfed.