Merced police responded to a car fire Saturday morning after a man swerved to avoid hitting a dog, officers reported Sunday.
Officers arrived in the 1200 block of West North Bear Creek Drive about 2:30 a.m. to find a 1996 Ford Mustang on the north side of the road, engulfed in flames.
It was unclear if there were passengers inside, so officers called for assistance from the Merced Fire Department. After the fire was extinguished, officers determined the car was empty.
The driver was found about a half-mile from the crash. He told officers he had swerved to avoid hitting a dog on the road.
After swerving, the car ended up on the shoulder of the road and lost traction. Officers said the driver spun out after overcorrecting the car while trying to regain control.
The car ended up facing east on the north side of the road, centered on a large tree trumk. The driver exited the car a few minutes after the crash, and the car burst into flames as he walked away, police said.
Although the car was destroyed, the driver was not injured, officers said. They said they do not suspect that alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.