Man Sets Pickup Truck on Fire Near Bay Bridge Toll Plaza: CHP

By Jodi Hernandez, NBC Bay Area Staff and Wire Services
|  Friday, Jun 20, 2014  |  Updated 3:59 AM PDT
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A man who set his pickup truck on fire near the Bay Bridge toll plaza was taken into custody Thursday morning after causing a major traffic headache for morning commuters traveling between Oakland and San Francisco. Jodi Hernandez reports.

A man who set his pickup truck on fire near the Bay Bridge toll plaza was taken into custody Thursday morning after causing a major traffic headache for morning commuters traveling between Oakland and San Francisco. Jodi Hernandez reports.

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A man who set his pickup truck on fire near the Bay Bridge toll plaza was taken into custody Thursday morning after causing a major traffic headache for morning commuters traveling between Oakland and San Francisco.

Witnesses said the man was seen dancing on the bridge. He then set his ablaze 1998 Ford F-150, according to California Highway Patrol. He was later taken on a psychiatric hold to Highland Hospital in Oakland, the CHP said, where officers ultimately decided not to charge him. Officers said he suffered a "psychiatric emergency."

The fire was reported at 8:17 a.m., causing several lane closures on the westbound side of the bridge, according to the CHP. First responders cleared the scene at 8:48 a.m.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security officers happened to be in the area and helped out, according to the CHP.

The driver of the truck was identified by CHP officials as a 32-year-old man from Sacramento, who suffered minor injuries.

There were no other reported injuries, according to the CHP.

Still, the sight -- a pickup on fire in the middle of the morning rush hour -- caused a ruckus among those commuting on the Bay Bridge.

Kevin Wilson shared a photo of the scene via Twitter: "There's a truck on fire just past the toll plaza and a crazy guy is dancing all around it as they spray him," he wrote.

Naren Naidoo was also on the bridge at the time and posted Instagram video of the blaze, with the Port of Oakland and toll plaza visible in the background. He had left his home in Emeryville about 7:30 a.m. en route to his job as a digital artist at Industrial Light and Magic in San Francisco's Presidio when he saw the flames. Like nearly everyone else nearby, he whipped out his phone to capture the scene.

"It started like another normal day," he said. "But as I got up to the toll plaza, it got smoky real quick. You just don't see that every day. I wanted to get it on video. It was pretty bizarre."

 

NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez, Lisa Fernandez, Shelby Hansen, Tim Bollinger and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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