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Man pulled from fiery wreck in south-side Edmonton

One man is in hospital after a fiery crash on Edmonton’s south side late Thursday night.

The burnt shell of a van could be seen on its roof at the corner of 86th Street and Argyll Road, at the edge of a Tim Hortons parking lot.

The smouldering wreckage sat in a crumpled heap and the smell of burnt rubber lingered in the air. Above the crash, one side of a tall Tim Hortons sign was almost completely melted from the heat of the fire.

Edmonton police were flagged down around 10:25 p.m. by a pedestrian on 63rd Avenue to report what he thought was a drunk driver, said Sgt. Dave Thomson.

“When they came to 86th Street here, they found this van on its roof on fire, wrapped around the pole,” Thomson said.

The 36-year-old driver, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was pulled from the burning Chevy van by witnesses and police officers, Thomson said.

The driver is at an Edmonton hospital in the trauma unit, he added, but would not confirm which hospital.

Sarath Ou said he was working at a shop near the Tim Hortons when he heard a loud bang. “A bunch of us heard it,” he said. “We grabbed fire extinguishers. That’s all we could do.” He said he realized once he got there the fire was too strong to fight with the extinguisher.

Ou watched as the driver was pulled from the burning van.

“They laid him down on the grass,” he said. “He was barely moving. A couple of people were attending to him.”

The investigation is ongoing but police said speed and alcohol are factors in the crash.

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