Fiery Merced County crash sends driver to hospital

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Highway Patrol is investigating a fiery crash in the North Valley. Officers say a man was driving erratically on southbound Highway 99 in the Livingston area around 9 a.m. Sunday. He led them on a pursuit from Hammatt Avenue to Atwater Boulevard -- even crossing into oncoming traffic in the northbound lanes.

That's when he sideswiped another car, crashed through the guardrail and down an embankment. The Dodge truck immediately caught fire. Officers and witnesses tried to get the man out using buckets of water, fire extinguishers and a pry bar.

The 53-year-old from Gustine suffered major burns and was flown to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. The other driver had only minor injuries. It's not clear yet if drugs or alcohol were involved.

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