An Elk Grove Police officer is being hailed as a hero after the department released video that shows him helping rescue a driver from his car after a fiery crash.
The dashboard and body-camera video, taken from a Feb. 11 incident and posted to social media Tuesday night, shows Officer Jarred Houston racing his patrol car around the roundabout at Sheldon and Waterman roads, then getting out and running toward the white sedan. The car’s front end is smashed, flames and smoke are spewing from the engine compartment and its airbags have deployed.
The driver, whose face is blurred in the video, is trapped on the front passenger’s side of the burning car when Houston arrives.
“I cannot get out, sir,” the driver tells him.
Houston tells the man to get away from the window, before smashing it out with a baton to gain access. Houston then pulls the man out of the car through the window opening, the video shows.
The driver was taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, the Elk Grove Police Department said in a Facebook post. The cause of the collision remains under investigation.
“So proud of Officer Houston and his heroic efforts to save the life of this driver,” Elk Grove Police Chief Timothy Albright tweeted early Wednesday morning. “Without hesitation, he does what is necessary to bring what could have been a tragic event to a successful conclusion.”
Beneath the video, which had been shared dozens of times by early Wednesday, users commented with universal praise for Houston’s actions. However, a few users called the roundabout at Sheldon and Waterman dangerous and poorly lit.
The Police Department responded to one of those comments with a link to data showing end-of-year stats for 15 of the city’s intersections that had the most collisions in 2019. The roundabout involved in the Feb. 11 incident was not on that list; but another roundabout on Sheldon Road, a similar one about a mile to the east at Bradshaw Road, tied for the most with 22 crashes last year.
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