MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (AP) _ Donovan Bailey, the world record holder in the 100 meter dash, escaped injury Sunday when his out-of-control Mercedes hit a concrete pole, flipped and caught fire, police said.

Peel Regional police said Bailey was driving alone when the single-car accident happened west of Toronto. A passing driver picked up Bailey and drove him home to nearby Oakville.

``He's a very fortunate man,'' said Sgt. Mike Grodzinski of the Peel Regional Police. ``The impact was on the passenger side, not the driver's side.''

Bailey was charged with careless driving and failing to remain at the scene of an accident. He is due in court Nov. 28.

Bailey, 29, captured the 100-meter title at the 1996 Atlanta Games, shattering the world-record mark in 9.84 seconds. The Canadian also won a gold medal with the 4x100 relay team.

On June 1 in Toronto, Bailey beat Michael Johnson in a 150-meter match race. Johnson, the world-record holder in the 200 and 400, pulled up lame.

At the world championships in August, Bailey lost his 100-meter crown to Maurice Greene. He did, however, anchor Canada's 4x100 team to another gold medal.