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SUV Plows Into A Dozen Parked Cars, Bursts Into Flames In N.J.

GARFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – An SUV plowed into a dozen parked cars overnight in Garfield, New Jersey.

Police were called to MacArthur Avenue shortly before 2 a.m., where they found a Ford Explorer on fire with a 61-year-old driver slumped over the wheel.

Officers pried him free and carried him to safety.

"The flame was high, the smoke was black -- very. You couldn't even breathe," resident Carmelo Cangialosi told CBS2's Lisa Rozner. "The guy was still inside, moving. We tried to open the door, but everything was locked."

Police said the SUV had slammed into 12 unoccupied vehicles along MacArthur Avenue before erupting in flames.

"As soon as I came out, a car was trying to reverse but it kept hitting this Mazda right here," one witness said.

"The car behind us was literately in our trunk, and then they backed out and then took off the whole side of my van," another added.

"They took off like 30 miles an hour with a flat tire -- boom, boom, boom," said a man.

"And he went to the corner and he lost control," added another.

Qazim Vaka said the driver rammed into his newly purchased BMW, dragging it forward.

"I saw my car just there in the middle, maybe 20 feet down there, and it was just like blow up both cars on the fire," he said.

The flames were so intense they burned through plastic of nearby brake lights of another car. Workers tried to pry open the hood of one of the fiery cars to cut the gas line.

"I saw everything and I can't do nothing else. I see my car was fire and I can't do nothing else," one woman said.

Police said they are treating it as a medical episode and there's no evidence of intoxication, but the investigation is ongoing.

No charges have been filed. No one else was hurt.

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