This poor guy learned his lesson the hard way ~ that, which most of us (should) already know:
- Please don't smoke;
- If you do smoke, please don't toss your lame-ass, I mean, your cigarette butt, out the window (please don't litter);
- If you fail to heed the advice of 1 and 2, supra, well then, the interior of your $30,000 SUV deserves to catch fire...giving a whole new meaning to the term "Blazer."
Text of the article, from today's S.F. Chron:
Expensive litter: Tossed cigarette ignites SUV
No ifs, ands or butts about it, Jonathan Fish learned an expensive lesson today about the dangers of littering.
The 20-year-old San Francisco resident was rolling across the upper deck of the Bay Bridge at 10:40 a.m., smoking a cigarette. When he got to Harrison Street, he rolled down the window of his white 2004 Ford Expedition SUV and tossed out the butt.
Instead of bounding along the pavement, however, the still-lit cigarette blew back in and set the interior of his $30,000 SUV ablaze.
Black smoke filled the vehicle. Fish pulled over to the far left-hand lane about 100 feet from the Harrison Street exit and leaped from the Expedition, but instead of putting the SUV in park, he left it in neutral.
The flaming Expedition rolled driverless into a guard rail by the exit, where it crashed to a stop and burned to the frame.
California Highway Patrol officers and fire crews arrived and closed the off-ramp until 11:45 a.m., tying up traffic all the way back to the toll plaza. Fish had his hair singed but was otherwise unharmed.
Tossing a burning cigarette onto the road is a misdemeanor, and even though this particular cigarette never actually hit the road, Fish will probably be cited all the same, the CHP said. The citation can be up to $1,000.
"Obviously, this guy is fortunate that he wasn’t a fatality and that he did not receive any more serious injuries than singed hair," said Officer Shawn Chase of the California Highway Patrol.