NEWPORT NEWS - The driver of an SUV that ran into a gas pump, causing fire at a Newport News service station, has been arrested.
Police say 22-year-old Keith Wendell Lauder of the 7200 block of Auburn Lane in Hampton has been charged with one count of reckless driving, driving with a suspended driver’s license, leaving the scene of an accident, and two counts of destruction to property.
Warwick Blvd. was closed in both directions near the Shell at Warwick Blvd. and Elm. Avenue for the firefight, forcing drivers to detour during the morning rush.
Traffic was detoured through parking lots until the area reopened around 9:30 a.m.
Police spokesman Lou Thurston said Lauder lost control, went across several lanes of traffic and struck the pump. The SUV got stuck on the gas pump, he ran off but was caught a short distance away, he added.
Karen Johnson had just gotten to work.
"I heard two crashes. I heard the first crash, which was the median strip that he hit, and then the second crash. I thought he hit the building, but when I looked up, I saw the pump on fire and the car on top of the pump. I was so scared. I didn't know what to do," she said.
Lauder remains in the Newport News City Jail