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Woodbury driver admitted smoking incense before fiery wreck, police say

Cottage Grove firefighters extinguish a car fire Thursday. Submitted photo by Kurt Larson

A Woodbury man could face criminal charges after he allegedly admitted to smoking incense prior to driving a car that careened off a Cottage Grove road, crashed through fencing and burst into flames.

The 18-year-old driver suffered minor injuries and could be charged pending the outcome of the crash investigation, police said.

The crash happened at 12:05 p.m. Thursday along 80th Street east of Jamaica Avenue.

Witnesses told police that the vehicle was eastbound on 80th Street before it drifted into oncoming traffic and then struck a garbage can and a mailbox in the 9400 block of 80th Street. The car then struck a light pole and continued along the boulevard, crossing over Jensen Lane and taking out several sections of plastic residential fencing before hitting a cluster of pine trees and stopping, said Cottage Grove Police Captain Pete Koerner.

It appeared the vehicle did not slow down and was "just kind of blasting through everything," Koerner said.

Witnesses pulled the driver from the vehicle after it crashed. The man was transported to Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury with minor injuries. There were no passengers.

The car's engine continued revving after it crashed and the vehicle started on fire. Cottage Grove firefighters extinguished the blaze but the car was severely damaged.

A neighbor said the crash occurred in the 7900 block of Jensen Lane.

Police did not release the driver's name Thursday, citing the pending investigation. Police took a blood sample from the man.

"The driver did make some admissions to smoking incense prior to the accident," Koerner said