There is a phone number at the end of the story...Please take the time to call and thank these guys. Our world needs more people like this! Be sure to tell them where you saw the vid of the heroism that inspires others! Go Live Leak! thanks to "rlnbns", a liveleaker for the link!
COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The three Cobb County police officers who pulled a man from a burning pickup truck on Interstate 75 last week said Tuesday night they had no time to think, just react.
They knew they had only moments to save the driver's life.
"We just had to try to attempt to save it," said Officer J. T. Rainwater. "We had to try. The flames were very high and the smoke was bad, but we had to try."
Officer Rainwater, Officer R. C. Adair, and Sgt. M. T. Brown are from Precinct 3 Uniform Division and the D.U.I. Task Force.
Responding to reports of a one-vehicle accident early Friday morning, the officers drove up on an inferno.
A blue 1980 Chevrolet pickup was engulfed in flames with the driver still inside. The pickup was burning in the off-ramp tunnel from I-75 northbound to Windy Hill Road.
The officers had seconds to do the work of Fire-Rescue lifesavers who run into burning buildings to pull people out. Except the officers had no protective fire suits and helmets and gloves and breathing apparatus.
Through the flames and smoke, they could see the driver was trapped inside the pickup.
"His upper body was in the driver's floorboard," Officer Rainwater said. "But his legs extended out into the passenger's floorboard. And his head and upper body were kind of wedged underneath the steering wheel."
The driver was stuck. The inside of his truck was already an oven. And there was no apparent way, at first, for the officers to break through the wall of fire to get to him.
"It wouldn't go out," said Officer Adair. "We tried with the fire extinguishers and knocked the flames down a couple of times, but they kept building back up and getting higher and higher and higher. And the inside of the truck was getting more and more engulfed in flames. We know we had to get him out right now."
Sgt. Brown also said the harder they tried, the harder the fire seemed to fight back, but then it seemed like they were at least holding their own.
"Everytime we'd go through a fire extinguisher, the extinguisher worked. It would fight the flames off. He was on fire inside the truck. The goal was to keep the flames off of him while we all were figuring out a way to extract him from the vehicle."
They somehow reached into the flames and pulled on the doors, and through sheer will pulled the driver out.
"We didn't know that he was DUI," said Officer Adair.
"It's a life," said Officer Rainwater. "Regardless, it's the most precious thing that we have, and we're going to try and protect it and preserve it and save it, any way we can."
The officers were burned and inhaled a lot of smoke; they were treated at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital and released.
They're all back on the job.
The man they saved is 20-year-old Michael Roden-Reynolds of Marietta. Roden-Reynolds was in critical but stable condition Tuesday night at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
Police have charged him with Driving Under the Influence and Failure to Maintain Lane.
Cobb County Police Public Information Officer Nathan McCreary said Tuesday, "This incident is still under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this case should contact the Cobb County Police Department's Precinct Three, 770-499-4183."
Click to view image: 'f76ca60040e2-genthumb.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|