jump to example.com

So clearly this chase isn’t going well for the running man. That said, I can’t help but wonder exactly what’s happening in this video car-tech-wise. I suppose all the sparks coming from the driver’s-side front wheel well must be due to a missing wheel as driving on the brake disc would definitely produce that kind of light show. And I’m guessing that eventually all the sparks managed to get into fuel or other flammable materials to create the CNN-described “fireball.”

But that looks to me like a ’90s Chrysler, which means it’s likely front-wheel-drive. If so, it’s pretty impressive that the driver manages to keep it in a lane (for the most part) minus a front wheel. Do you suppose the car stopped because the fuel tank emptied, or do you think the guy just crapped his pants when he saw/felt the flames and decided a foot chase would be, um, safer.


19 Responses to CNN Fireball Chase Scene: Car Guy Analysis?

  1. jc says:

    It’s a Dodge Neon, year not stated. The CNN video had no audio for me, but KABC (http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/index) is running it as their number one video as of Saturday morning.

  2. Phil says:

    If the runner managed to run on the rim for this long, he most likely was dragging the oil pan and/or the transmission pan/housing eventually as well. It finally rubbed through, making the white smoky flameout and coming to a stop. Enough burning oil and plastic remained lit under the hood to eventually burn through fuel lines, then we have the big fire erupting at the end of the video. A ratings bonanza!

  3. David says:

    Call me crazy, but if I had just finished a flaming car chase, I don’t think I would have parked my squad car _right behind_ the culprit’s gas tank.

  4. JB says:

    When the rim went I suspect the inertia switch cut the fuel. Thats why he stopped. That or the engine seized when the oil drained out of the oil pan.

  5. blitzcat says:

    rear tires burned through, stopped

  6. Stuart Hersh says:

    Never got to the fiery conclusion, due to that pesky refresh.

  7. Jim says:

    Yeah, that auto refresh is a real pain!

  8. DocN says:

    Yep, lost the tire, possibly due to a spike-strip. The rim wore away, eventually hit the rotor and suspension arm, and that first gout of flame we saw while they were still moving was the oil pan scraping through and letting go.

    After that, the engine seized within moments, and they coasted to a stop. The fire at the end was almost certainly from the hot steel and hot engine parts setting the remaining boiling oil alight.

  9. Brau says:

    I agree with Phil and Doc. The front end is clearly so low on the ground that the oil pan must have been ground open leading to flames and seizure.

  10. Coach James says:

    I don’t know what you guys are talking about, I love auto refresh. My favorite part is when I’m three words from finishing a reply and lose it all due to the page refreshing. I actually post less often just for that reason.

  11. river1 says:

    you’d think that there was a ‘TOOL’ that could fix that auto refresh. maybe they could review that ‘TOOL’.


    later jim

  12. Daniel says:

    @ Coach James:
    Timing and brevity are importan

  13. Zathrus says:

    Yes, the auto refresh is annoying. But consider it yet another reason to use Firefox, which doesn’t lose any of the text when the site refreshes.

    Oh, and yes, Firefox also has the tool to keep the thing from refreshing at all; it’s called GreaseMonkey. If it annoyed me sufficiently I’d write a GM script to edit the refresh out.

  14. Mark Bickford says:

    I prefer the stand alone refreshblocker FireFox extension:
    Although, there is a Greasemonkey script out there somewhere…

  15. jim says:

    Oh man, I was all excited like I just sank a 2 foot putt. I tried to download the blocker above, and then saw it only works on older versions of Firefox. Bummer.

    Hey Toolmonger guys – any chance of eliminating the auto-refresh? Thanks!

  16. Topgun says:

    Wow. Looks like he was riding on the rim for awhile, which will produce plenty of sparks at that speed. You can see the car lurch and drop at one point, probably the rim finally letting go/wearing to a point where he’s then on the brake rotor.

    Yes David, I thot the same thing…Back up that cruiser! Too much paperwork involved in a mistake like that !

    Textbook felony stop once the car actually came to rest…I had no audio but imagine the PD was using their bullhorn to instruct the occupants on how to remain alive by cooperating.

    And damn…great driving! Dumb, but great driving!

  17. DocN says:

    Addendum: I don’t know what kind of car it was, but it wasn’t a front-wheel drive. Once the front tire disappeared, the car come to a stop since all the power would go to the damaged side due to loss of traction and the “open” differential.

  18. Matthew says:

    In Firefox 3, under Options > Advanced > General >
    “Warn me when web sites try to redirect or reload the page.”
    Check that box, no more auto-refresh of Toolmonger, and unlike most changes that cause problems elsewhere, there aren’t that many side effects of this one.

  19. Frank Townend says:

    Yes, again the auto refresher. Could you imagine a tool that auto refreshed during use. You would be all over it.

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