"This is something we do every day:" Officers, good Samaritans help save man's life
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) - Caught on police body camera: officers and good samaritans in North Carolina try and rescue a man trapped in his truck after a head-on collision.
The officers were on the scene before firefighters and EMS. They say the man was pinned inside the burning truck. "That moment, you know, complete stranger just tried to treat him like he's my younger brother," said Winston-Salem Police officer, A.C. Sawyers.
Officer Elijah Boyles was also on the scene. "At that point, we grabbed our fire extinguishers, just tried to suppress the fire until we could get him out," he said.
The two officers did what they could to try and put the fire out.
Then a passerby, Chris Owens, stopped to help. "He was saying the guy was stuck in the vehicle. We just went to it, trying to help him out, put the fire out, got crowbars to try and pry open the doors because it was stuck, it wedged him in," he said.
The man behind the wheel, Terry McCariney, was pinned in after officers say a school bus, driven by John Lester Ijames, hit him head-on causing his truck to be wedged under the bus.
"I was trying to ask him if he had any spinal injuries to see if I could push him out that window. But he was too trapped in," said Officer Sawyers.
Officers say after a few minutes they didn't know if they were going to be able to get him out. They called it a very scary moment for them. But, EMS and firefighters got to the scene. "Sirens never sounded so sweet when fire showed up, seen the yellow coats," said Sawyers.
Firefighters say the officers' efforts to keep the fire down may have saved McCariney's life.
"This is something we do every day and it just happened to be recognized. And officers around the nation do this kind of thing every single day," Sawyers said.
The three good Samaritans who helped the police officers in the rescue were also honored in Winston-Salem.
McCariney is still recovering at a local hospital.
The school bus driver is facing charges of failing to yield the right of way.