Claim:   Photographs show a failed carjacker run over by a truck.

Status:   Real photos; inaccurate description.

Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, 2003]

This fine upstanding member of the infamous 18th Street LA gang decided one day that he would try to car-jack a semi truck at gun point . . . The gangsta jumped up on the driver side, while the truck was in motion, and stuck a gun in the drivers face. The only problem was that the truck driver opened up the door and knocked the attempted thief off. He lost his balance and fell under the wheels of the truck. At which time the driver slammed on his brakes, resting on top of him and decided that this was the perfect time to whip out his Fuji Disposable camera . . . Say cheese, homie!

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Origins:   The images displayed above are genuine photographs taken by a police officer at the scene, but contrary to the account accompanying them, they do not depict the aftermath of a failed carjacking attempt.

The incident pictured above occurred at the Pilot Travel Center truck stop in Palm Springs in December 2001. The deceased, 26-year-old Christopher Flaro of Lakewood, California, had been acting irrationally at that location (either due to psychological problems or drug use), panhandling money from visitors, yelling and threatening other customers, and committing a battery against a store
clerk. He then tried to flee by running through the truck stop to the area where the big rigs pull up to fuel pumps, dashing between and crawling under several trucks (some of which were moving) before climbing onto a tractor-trailer.

Coincidentally, the rig Flaro mounted was one manned by a driver who had given him a dollar earlier that day. Flaro demanded money from the driver and attempted to pull open the door on the driver’s side, but he had no weapon, he was not attempting to steal the vehicle, and the driver did not open the door. Flaro then jumped or fell from the truck and tried to stop it from moving by placing his shoulder against its rear tires; the rig backed over him, crushing him to death beneath its wheels.

Palm Springs police, summoned to the truck stop after Flaro’s altercation with the clerk and customers in the store, arrived just moments after the fatal accident; one of them recorded the scene with a digital camera, producing the photographs shown here.

Last updated:   12 July 2005


Sources Sources:

    The Desert Sun.   “Coroner IDs Man Crushed by Truck.”

    11 December 2001.