A man is dead and an Austin police officer is recovering from burns after a fiery crash in East Austin.
Neighbors near Springdale Road and Pecan Springs Road were startled Tuesday morning by a series of loud bangs.
"I was in bed at 7:05 a.m. and heard what sounded like a gunshot really close. Could've also been a car backfiring, around 5 to 10 minutes later I heard something similar,” said Katy Bonner.
Katy Bonner went outside and saw that a van was on fire.
"At that point it was raging. It went on for 30 minutes,” said Bonner.
She snapped photos of the smoke and flames.
Austin police were already there. One officer tried to save the driver.
"Officer attempted to get close to the vehicle there was a person inside and he was injured in the process. He was transported to Brackenridge,” said Bino Cadenas. "We are told its minor. We are thankful it's minor. He is expected to return to work this week."
Officers don't know what caused the man to leave the roadway. They estimate he was headed northbound on Springdale Road. He crashed into a tree across from Pecan Springs Road.
Family members tell us the man worked for wholesale florist Bill Doran Company. The office is located two miles from the scene.
"I work from home so it's been really hard to stay focused. Just awful waking up in a bad mood and then someone dying and the perspective just totally changes,” said Bonner.
Police are asking that any witnesses to this crash call them. They would appreciate more details to help piece this together.