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Kids in flaming stolen car


There were kids in the back seat of a car that burst into flames following a police chase through Lake Country Thursday night. The two girls, 8 and 5, and two adults were able to escape the inferno with minor injuries.

Kelowna RCMP say a 48-year-old man faces several charges as a result of the incident which began around 11:30 Thursday night on Old Vernon Road.

Cst. Kris Clark says police were tracking a suspected stolen white Acura which was travelling at a high rate of speed on Old Vernon Road before turning north on Highway 97.

"Investigators followed in an unmarked police vehicle and called ahead to waiting officers who subsequently deployed a spike belt," says Clark.

"Despite all four tires deteriorating quickly, several marked police vehicles with lights and sirens blaring and the driver only able to continue slowly, he showed no signs of stopping."

Clark says the vehicle continued on rims at a low rate of speed through Lake Country, spraying sparks with the smoking undercarriage.

The car, which was now on fire, finally stopped at the exit to Pelmewash Parkway.

Tow truck operator Ben Dominato witnessed the incident.

"He comes flying by me," says Dominato who was on Highway 97 near Beaver Lake Road.

"He comes across the intersection on his rims, flying across there down Highway 97, comes back up Main Street and then back around on Highway 97 and whizzes by me. He makes it to where the new highway starts. By time I got there the car was on fire."

Cst. Clark says the 48-year-old driver was immediately taken into custody.

A 41-year-old female passenger was also arrested, while two girls in the back seat were referred to the provincial ministry. 

He says police continue to investigate the possibility the vehicle was stolen.

The driver faces charges of Causing a Pursuit and Driving While Prohibited.

His female passenger was also held in custody on outstanding warrants.

Both are expected to appear in court Friday.

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