Psychiatric hold after Bay Bridge truck fire: Man was “laughing and taunting firefighters,”

A man was taken into custody on a psychiatric hold after his truck burned on the westbound Bay Bridge approach Thursday just past the toll booths, the California Highway Patrol said.

Around 8 a.m., a 32-year-old Sacramento man driving a white Ford F-150 pickup truck stopped about 115 feet past the plaza after paying his toll. After a few minutes, authorities were called about smoke coming from the truck, said CHP Officer Michael Ferguson.

The truck then became fully engulfed in flames as the man inside got out and “was laughing and taunting firefighters,” a witness told The Chronicle.

Panicked workers and drivers in the area flagged down an officer from the Department of Homeland Security who was passing through the toll booths. The federal officer, along with a San Francisco police officer, subdued the man, making way for firefighters to extinguish the flames.

The fire was out around 8:35 a.m. and all lanes were reopened by 9 a.m. No one was seriously injured.

“Whether he started it or not, I don’t know. We’ll have to investigate,” said CHP Officer Kevin Bartlett.

CHP officers took the man to Highland Hospital in Oakland. He was placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold. Authorities did not arrest the man and are not recommending charges be filed against him.

Ferguson said the man told officers he started the fire himself, but authorities were continuing to investigate the incident.

via Psychiatric hold after Bay Bridge truck fire – SFGate Blog.

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