LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Police pull a man from a burning car in dramatic bodycam video from a Friday rescue on the Strip.
Metro police released the video on YouTube Tuesday, along with a video interview of officer Derek Stebbins, who pulled the driver out as flames burst from the bottom of the car. He had help from another man who was on the scene and helped police without them asking. Police didn’t identify that man.
Alexander Dawkins faces charges of DUI, failure to properly maintain a travel lane or improper lane change and owner failing to show proof of insurance, court records showed. He was arrested at University Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries after the crash into a palm tree in the median near the Venetian Las Vegas, near Spring Mountain Road on the Strip.
Here is Stebbins’ account of the rescue:
“When I arrived, I noticed there was some smoke coming out of the vehicle. As I approached the vehicle, I noticed somebody had busted the window out of the passenger side of the vehicle that was there. I tried to make entry through the passenger door. We finally did get the door open, but the gentleman that was in the vehicle was leaning all the way over to the driver side of the vehicle so we were unable to pull him out from the passenger side,” Stebbins said.
“I continued to drag him back away from the car. As I did that, it began … more flames, more smoke coming out of the vehicle before it became engulfed in flames,” he said.
“As I did get closer, I did notice a samaritan had already thrown something into the window before I had gotten up there. By the time I had gotten to the passenger side I just asked everybody to move back because the car had already starting having smoke come out of it. So I was just trying to make the scene safe while I was trying to work on getting the driver out of the vehicle. Like I said there was another samaritan that decided to stay which opened the passenger door after the window was busted trying to get the windows unlocked,” Stebbins said.
The samaritan’s name has not been released by police.
“You know what, I think it was awesome that he stayed,” Stebbins said. “I pushed a lot of them back just to make sure the scene was safe. I mean, that’s what we are taught to do is make sure the scene is safe so nobody else gets injured and he decided to stay. And honestly through all the adrenaline and trying to get the guy out of the car I didn’t notice he was even there except for an arm being pulled out and then him kind of helping me pull this guy out.”
It could have ended much worse.
“If we weren’t there, I think he would have been burned in the vehicle. Would he have died? I don’t know, but I think he would have suffered severe burns just from how fast the vehicle caught fire,” Stebbins said.