3 killed in fiery crash after van collides with police car chasing stolen car

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Three people were killed and four others were hospitalized after a fiery crash involving a police cruiser.

The Georgia State Patrol told Channel 2 Action News that the officer was pursing a stolen Mercedes when his car crashed with a van.

The crash happened along Jonesboro Road in Union City in south Fulton County Sunday night.

Officials Channel 2 Action News they are still working to identify the three victims, who were burned in the accident.

The City of South Fulton officer, who suffered a head injury, is expected to be released Monday. The three survivors in the van were transported to the hospital, but only one had serious injuries.

Channel 2's Tom Jones spoke City of South Fulton Police Chief Keith Meadows, who said his department is saddened by the accident.

"Our hearts go out to the family. Certainly when things like this happen, it's a tragic incident," Meadows said.

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Channel 2's Audrey Washington spoke with a woman who said she witnessed the aftermath of the crash.

"I saw the explosion. I felt the heat," Crystal Williams said. "I got scared because I didn't know if the car was going to blow up."

The GSP said the officer began chasing the stolen Mercedes on Highway 138 when six people in a white work van attempted to turn left onto the highway.

The impact flipped the van and both vehicles caught fire. A Channel 2 photographer saw smoke still coming from the cruiser after it caught fire.

"It could be me, just on my way to work and something like that could happen. It's just sad. I'm praying for the families," Williams said.

The crash is still under investigation.