Two injured when minivan wrecks, explodes during street race

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Troopers say a minivan exploded overnight after a horrific crash involving two cars that were spotted street racing at speeds over 100 miles an hour.

State Highway Patrol Troopers said they're amazed no one died.

A fiery explosion brought emergency crews running to the I-485 and I-77 interchange in south Charlotte around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

But the events leading up to the crash had people on the scene shaking their heads.

Officials said two couples were drinking heavily at the Fox and Hound bar in Ballantyne.  All four people were bragging about how fast their respective cars could go.

One couple had a Mercedes, the other, a minivan.

Words turned into actions as officials said the two couples took off from the restaurant and started street racing down I-485 at breakneck speeds.

Troopers investigating another crash on the interstate, said they actually saw the two cars flying down the freeway.  They estimate the vehicles hit speeds of 120 miles an hour.

The cars approached the onramp to I-77 northbound, and that's when the minivan came off the roadway and hit the guardrail.

The impact sent the van tumbling end-over-end.

It fell into a ditch backwards and exploded.  Troopers who witnessed it said they saw a massive fireball coming from the crash scene.

The driver of the Mercedes didn't pull over to see if anyone was hurt, or worse, if anyone had died.  He kept going, and was last seen northbound on I-77.

Charlotte firefighters were called out to rescue the victims.

Both people were transported to Carolinas Medical Center by Medic.  We're told amazingly, both people should fully recover.

The minivan however, is a different story.

Wrecker crews had to upright the vehicle, and pull it from the ditch.  To many observers, the car was so mangled, it was hard to tell what the make and model was.

State Troopers said they are busy filing charges against the driver.  Those charges include pre-arranged speed competition, going over 100 miles an hour in a 65 mile an hour zone, and DWI.

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