The driver of a limousine that sent nine to hospital after it crashed through a group outside a Vancouver nightclub was apparently fleeing a distraught man who came at his car with a large traffic cone raised above his head, police said Monday.

The enraged man, said Vancouver Const. Jana McGuinness, was involved in some sort of verbal altercation at the Esso station at Burrard and Davie.

“We’re not sure what set this man off,” McGuinness said. “But it was quite heated.”

The man threw a hubcap at a building and damaged a payphone. He then picked up a three-foot traffic cone and raised it above his head as he approached the limo.

The limo driver, who police said feared for his safety, hit the gas. His wheels were turned and the car jumped onto the curb and struck a group of pedestrians outside Celebrities Night Club on Davie Street.

The limousine came to a stop on Davie near Burrard Street and the driver hopped out and began helping the injured, who were taken to hospital with minor injuries and released within five to six hours of the crash.

“There was a lot of chaos in that block,” McGuinness said. “It was a chaotic scene for police and for witnesses and quite disturbing in the initial few minutes.”

The man with the traffic cone took off running, but was caught by police after a foot chase at Burrard and Burnaby Street.

Kyle Allan Wugalter, 22, of Calgary, is facing charges of resisting arrest and mischief under $5,000 and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

Collision investigators haven’t reached a decision as to whether the limo driver will face charges under the Motor Vehicle Act, McGuinness said.