WHITTIER (CBSLA) – A teen boy was seriously hurt when a stolen car he was driving burst into flames after it careened into a tree during a pursuit late Sunday night in a Whittier neighborhood.

The crash occurred just before midnight in the 8600 block of Painter Avenue.


According to Whittier police, the incident began when patrol officers came upon a car with two occupants which had been reported stolen. When officers attempted to pull it over, the driver sped away.

A short pursuit ensued. It ended about a half-mile away when the suspect vehicle slammed into a tree.


The force of the collision was so strong that the engine flew out of the car and bark was shredded from the side of the tree. The car then exploded into flames. One neighbor told CBS2 the explosion was so strong it shook his home.

The driver, a juvenile, was able to extricate himself from the car, police said. He was transported to a hospital with a broken leg.

His male passenger ran from the scene but was later captured by officers. He was initially detained but later released without charges.

Once released from the hospital, the driver is expected to face charges of grand theft auto, police said.