As Alison Morrissette once sang, “Isn’t it Ironic?”
I wonder if that was what was playing on the radio when a gas hoarder’s car burst into flames as she fled from the police?
The incident occurred recently in South Carolina. A Pickens County Sheriff’s deputy tried to pull over a 2007 Pontiac G6 after the officer ran the plates and found it was stolen, officials said. According to Pickens County Sheriff’s Office press release, as the deputy activated his vehicle’s siren, the suspect accelerated before crashing just moments later.
“Before the deputy could complete radio traffic with the Communications center, the driver of the Pontiac lost control of the vehicle leaving the roadway and completely flipping the vehicle,” authorities said. “The vehicle immediately caught fire, and multiple explosions were heard inside the vehicle.”
The driver, Jessica Dale Patterson, 28, tried to outrun the pursuing deputy but lost control of the car and flipped it over on the side of the road. Patterson emerged from the car on fire herself, and the deputy pushed her to the ground to extinguish the flames.
The suspect told authorities she was “hoarding” several containers of fuel in the trunk, which were responsible for the fire. There was no immediate word on Patterson’s condition or charges against her.
The fiery incident came just two days after the White House pleaded with Americans not to hoard gas amid the ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline.
The Southeast was hit hardest by the fuel shortage. However, by Friday, fuel was once again flowing to the region. The supply of gas in the region is now expected to go back to normal over the next several days, but as of Friday morning, at least half of the gas stations in South Carolina were still out of gas, according to GasBuddy, a travel and navigation app tracking the outages.
Federal officials issued multiple warnings this week urging the public not to panic or hoard gas in unsafe containers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, for instance, asked drivers not to fill plastic bags with gasoline.
“We know this sounds simple, but when people get desperate, they stop thinking clearly,” the agency tweeted this week. “They take risks that can have deadly consequences. If you know someone who is thinking about bringing a container not meant for fuel to get gas, please let them know it’s dangerous.”
Despite such warnings, the temporary crisis prompted panic buying and gas hoarding across the Southeast. One of those desperate drivers was Patterson, who admitted that she was doing just that when she crashed the Pontiac G6 in the city of Pickens, according to officials.
Patterson has not been charged, but the sheriff’s office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol are investigating the incident.