Close Escape From Gas Pump Fire

In a freak car accident Friday, 22-year-old Angela Garcia slammed into a gas pump, causing it to burst into flames and fall on top of Raymond Nichols' car.

Nichols reacted quickly, pulling his wife, Traci, and two daughters, Allyson, 7, and Madison, 5, to safety just before the car exploded.

The Nichols family joined The Early Show Tuesday to talk about the accident.

Traci said she did not see the Garcia's car coming. When the gas pump hit their car, spraying them with shattered glass, she unbuckled Madison's seatbelt and opened the car door.

Her husband, not letting go of the gas pump nozzle because of the shock of the situation, yelled that the car was on fire and ran around to help her get the children out.

After they escaped, the back seat caught on fire, and the family watched the entire car go up in flames.

The girls told co-anchor Harry Smith they really didn't understand what was going on at the time.

Raymond said that when he saw the tape, "I was kind of shocked by it because the pump came so close to hitting me and I barely felt the pump at all. It kind of pushed me forward but I didn't even realize how close I was."

Garcia has been charged with failure to control, leaving the scene of an accident, driving without an operator's license and criminal damaging. She also has outstanding warrants for failing to appear for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass violations.
  • Brian Dakss

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