PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The man whose car burst into flames and exploded on the Loop 202 this weekend is speaking out.
It happened Saturday night around 9:30 near the 52nd street on-ramp, and it was all caught on an Arizona Department of Transportation traffic camera.
Jesus Galaviz said he and his friends made it out just in time.
Arizona’s Family watched it play out live on our newscast like a movie, but for Galaviz, it was no movie. It was his car.
“We were on our way back home when we heard a big pop in the car,” he said. “We’re all still pretty shook up. It did feel like a near-death experience kind of.”
He said he and three other friends were coming back from Scottsdale that night on the Loop 202.
[ORIGINAL STORY: Phoenix traffic impacted by car explosion on Loop 202 near 52nd Street]
He said his friend was driving as the designated driver.
After they heard a loud pop, things got worse.
“The brakes weren’t working, and the driver pulled the emergency brake a few times,” he said.
One of his friends feared for her life.
“As it was moving, she just jumped out and dropped and rolled,” Galaviz said.
He said when they finally got the car to come to a stop on the shoulder of the freeway, they knew it was a major emergency and called 911.
At that point, the car had started to explode.
“We all just all rushed out of the car as the flames grew bigger and bigger,” he said.
He said his car is old, a 1998 Toyota Camry, and he’s had it for seven years, but said it had been running great all day and was up to date on all repairs.
For now, family members are loaning him a car, as officials still don’t know why his burst into flames.
“I’d never believe that that would’ve happened to me, you know?” he said.
The ordeal caused a traffic nightmare on the freeway for a couple of hours, but that was the worst of it.
Luckily, Galaviz and his friends were not hurt, and neither were any officials.