INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A 73-year-old man is out of the hospital after a stolen truck crashed into his home, causing it to go up in flames.
Family members tell 41 Action News their uncle Dale was sitting in his living room, about to get ready for bed when a stolen pickup truck, Independence Police had just started to chase, plowed into his bedroom feet away from his chair.
"I just want to cry… cause he lost everything,” said Sarah Wesner, his niece.
Independence police told 41 Action News they were alerted about the stolen truck by Kansas City police. Initially, officers tried to throw out stop sticks but the suspect took off. Less than a minute after police turned on their lights and sirens, they say the suspect crashed into the house.
Short chase in Independence Sun night ended with a stolen pick-up truck crashing into a home & erupting in flames at 23rd & Haden. pic.twitter.com/9ORmhr8ETZ
“All of the sudden we heard the sirens and I heard the tires squealing and then the big bang,” said Tiffany Stelting.
Stelting was in her bed, five doors down from the scene.
“I ran from my bedroom in the back to the front of my house and I could already see smoke rolling over the neighborhood. The tires on the truck were exploding, it was pretty loud,” she said.
Police say the suspect hit a gas line and jumped out of the pickup truck before it erupted in flames. He was taken into custody at the scene without injury.
Prosecutors charged Dylan Bunch, 21, with tampering with a motor vehicle, stealing, and resisting arrest in connection with the incident.
Mugshot of Dylan Bunch
Independence officers rescued Dale through one of the home’s front windows. He was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and later released.
"He had pictures from growing up when he was younger, they are gone. Everything. Clothes. He has no shoes on his feet last night. But Independence saved him though. If it wasn’t for the cop he probably wouldn’t be here,” said Wesner.
His family has created a GoFundMe account to help him with expenses, get new clothes and find a new place to live.