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A California Highway Patrol officer escaped serious injury Sunday night in a bizarre accident in which his patrol car flipped, rolled and burst into flames on Highway 101 as ammunition exploded in the burning vehicle.

“Get out of here! Run! There’s live ammo!” Patrolman David Hotea yelled when Sara Haynes of Mill Valley pulled over to see if she could help.

Southern Marin fire officials, alerted at about 8:30 p.m. that Hotea’s car was on fire near Sausalito and ammunition was exploding, remained a quarter mile away as flames engulfed the vehicle and bullets popped like firecrackers.

“It sounded like guns going off,” said Southern Marin Battalion Chief Matt Barnes. “Our initial objective was to let the car burn and the ammunition expend.”

Source: Nels Johnson for Marin Independent Journal.

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