Body cam shows Deputy, good Samaritans save man from burning car

Posted at 6:39 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-20 18:43:01-05

A chaotic scene captured on a Pasco County deputies body camera shows a man hanging half way out of a burning car.

His legs pinned under the front seat as flames begin to swallow the vehicle.

"Instantly it was so hot I had to back up," said Crystian Martinez.

Martinez, a local EMT on his way home from work spotted the vehicle slammed against a tree at the corner of State road 52 and Kent Grove Drive.

"One thing that did catch my eye was a car seat and whether he's a parent or not, I'm a single parent, so to me that's a major thing, I had to get him out, I had to give him that fighting chance," said Martinez.

"When I got there, there was about 15 to 20 foot tall flames coming out of the hood of the car," said Deputy Anthony Petersen.

Martinez, and Deputy Petersen did everything they could to free the incoherent man even while he fought their efforts at times.

Randy Breighner also came upon the scene and says his natural compassion for human life guided his actions.

"I guess you don't really think about it, all I could think about is that poor guy in the car and he's out of it and there's blood all over the place, and I just ran in and help these two guys pull him out," said Breighner.

After the three men weren't able to pull the man out the window, Breighner was able to pry the door open and free the mans legs, quickly dragging him to safety.

"Him being so lethargic and being combative to the point where he didn't want to get out of the vehicle was very difficult," said Martinez.

But thanks to the determination of three strangers, he's alive.

"In my mind what would I do if my son one day just got the news that dad wasn't around anymore, to me that hit very close to home," said Martinez.

The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the crash and say the driver was the only person in the vehicle.






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