Fiery gas station crash caught on camera

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)- From his cell phone, gas station owner Sukh Bains watched. A security camera at his Valero gas station on Smyrna Parkway an Manslick Road shows an SUV hit the building at around 12:15am June 8th. The station had closed at midnight.

"There's a neighborhood behind our building," said Bains. "From, my understanding, the gentleman drove over the medians and the parking lot for the shopping center."

In the video, for several minutes, the SUV sat against the building as the wheels appeared to spin. In the video, smoke billows then a fire erupts

"I even seen on the video that there was a couple of explosions and still this person did not get out," Bains said.

Bains told a manager to drive over and see if they can help. The fire continued to grow

"We see that about 10 minutes after the fire started, he slowly stumbles out and backs away about 10 feet from the car," said Bains about the driver who could be seen in the video.

The flames eventually engulf the SUV. The driver appearing to eventually walk away and watch the fire. According to court documents, the driver, 41-year-old Victor Chavez, faces charges of DUI, failure to maintain insurance and no operator's license.

"He's very lucky he's alive," Bains said.

Firefighters did extinguish the fire. Bains said damage to the building inside and out is estimated anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000.

"We're just lucky that our building was able to stop his car because if he would've been on the road and hit another vehicle, I'm sure it could've cost another life," said Bains.

Chavez pretrial conference is scheduled for June 19th.

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