A driver from St. Louis, Missouri, was extremely lucky to escape a vehicle fire on Hwy. 101 a few miles north of Garberville. The driver, identified as 31-year-old Ryan Flieg, was northbound on Hwy. 101 last Wednesday at around 3:30 p.m. when he ran into the back of a car carrier.

Flieg and the car carrier were both traveling in the far right slow lane going uphill. Due to an unsafe speed and allegedly being under the influence, Flieg's Toyota Camry ran into the back of the semi-truck and trailer loaded with cars. The Toyota caught on fire and was a total loss. Flieg was able to exit the vehicle before it burst into flames.

The rented car with Massachusetts' license plates had been reported swerving earlier just south of Standish-Hickey State Park. The reporting party said the driver had possibly hit the guardrail on a bridge.

CHP was first on the scene, followed by the Garberville Volunteer Fire Department who extinguished the fire quickly. Redway Volunteer Fire Department, Caltrans, CHP, and the Garberville Sheriff's Department also responded. Flieg was later arrested for being under the influence and transported to Eureka for processing.

photo captions:

REDWOOD TIMES PHOTOS BY SUSAN GARDNER

1. A member of the Garberville Volunteer Fire Department extinguishes the car after it was completely engulfed by fire.

2. The entire front of the vehicle was destroyed when the driver plowed into the back of the car carrier.

3. CHP officers talk to the driver after the accident. The bottom car on the trailer received major rear-end damage. The driver of the semi-truck was not injured in the accident.