Fiery early Sunday Menlo Park collision sends 5 to the hospital, driver arrested for DUI

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A two-vehicle crash in Menlo Park early Sunday morning sent all five occupants involved to the hospital with varying, non-life threatening injuries

The driver suspected of causing the collision was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence causing bodily injury.

Menlo Park fire received a report of a vehicle on fire at 12:28 a.m. at Santa Cruz Avenue and El Camino Real. 

Three minutes after the initial call, the Captain Seth Johnson of Engine 6 arrived on scene and reported a two-vehicle accident at Oak Grove Avenue and El Camino Real. One vehicle had crashed into a pole at the intersection, and the second vehicle was engulfed in flames, approximately 100 hundred feet down the south bound lanes of El Camino Real with a trail of fuel in the street burning behind it.

The solo male driver of a small four door SUV, identified by Menlo Park Police Department as Luke Quinton, 25, of Menlo Park struck a 1960s era Buick Riviera with four young adults inside. The Buick's fuel tank was punctured in the collision and immediatley erupted in flames.

All four occupants in the Buick became trapped, pounding and kicking on the drivers side door, until they were able to escape the smoke-filled burning vehicle.

Firefighter Paramedics treated the two male and two female occupants from the Buick. All complained of smoke inhalation, two sustained second degree burns and impact-related bodily injuries. Both were transported to Stanford Hospital by ambulance. The other two victims decided to drive with someone else to the Hospital.

Quinton was treated at the scene by firefighter paramedics and was transported by ambulance to Stanford Hospital with reported head and upper body injuries.

Based upon evidence at the scene, statements by involved parties, and observations made by Menlo Park Police Officers, Quinton was arrested for 23153 VC - felony DUI causing bodily injury.

In total, 11 fire personnel responded to the incident.

Fire Chief Schapelhouman said "this was a terrible vehicle accident that could have easily turned tragic if the four occupants of the Buick were unable to escape the vehicle or if it had ended up inside one of the commercial buildings that border El Camino Real, catching it on Fire. Fortunately, that did not occur and all five individuals should survive this event."