1 hurt after car catches fire, crashes into tree

LAKE PLACID – Police say a local man was hospitalized over the weekend after his car caught fire and crashed into a tree.

Two Lake Placid police officers were conducting a routine traffic stop on Cascade Road at about 12:50 a.m. Sunday when they observed a black 1986 Ford Mustang traveling north on Cascade Road, toward the village, at a high rate of speed. As the vehicle approached, the officers noticed that its interior was engulfed in flames, according to a press release.

Sgt. Chuck Dobson said the car then crashed into a tree a few hundred feet away from where the officers were standing. The accident happened near the Adirondack Corner Store.

The Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene with one truck and 12 members. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and conducted traffic control until the car could be removed from the scene. Police and fire officials haven’t said what caused the fire.

The Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service transported the driver, 22-year-old Shawn M. Ellis of Saranac Lake, to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for treatment of a head injury. Adirondack Health spokesman Joe Riccio wrote in an email this morning that Ellis was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing and charges could be filed against the driver, police said.

“The driver made admissions to officers that alcohol and/or drug use was a factor in the accident,” Dobson said.

Firefighters were back in service by 2:05 a.m.

Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or cmorris@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.