A carjacking involving a man celebrating a birthday ended in a fiery crash on Branciforte Drive in Santa Cruz Saturday.
Angel Garibay, who turned 36 Saturday, allegedly stole a marked City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation truck from a city employee around 1:36 p.m.
As he barreled out of the city on a winding section of Branciforte Drive, he shot across the opposite lane, plowed through a large tree, toppling it onto the roadway, and then careened down a hillside.
The crash set the truck ablaze. Flames quickly spread into surrounding brush and trees.
Garibay was still at the crash site near De Laveaga Park suffering from “significant injuries” when Santa Cruz Police arrived.
A number of officers worked to pull Garibay away from the fully-engulfed truck, police said.
He was transported to a trauma center for treatment.
A swarm of officers from SCPD, The Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol poured into the area as firefighters and paramedics charged in as well to deal with the drama.
The case is still under investigation.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call 471-1131 or 420-5820.
Editor’s note: An earlier, incorrect version of this story said a city employee stole and destroyed the truck. The Register-Pajaronian apologizes for this error.