Waco officer pulls driver from truck moments before it explodes - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Waco officer pulls driver from truck moments before it explodes

BRUCEVILLE-EDDY - UPDATE: In a heroic act, an off duty Waco Police officer saves a man's life after a dangerous crash involving two 18-wheelers in Bruceville Eddy. That officer wants to remain anonymous. 

As the officer was driving into work he saw two big rigs collided on Interstate 35 in near exit 316. So the officer stopped to help.

He noticed the driver of the first truck had fallen out of the cab but wasn't in any danger so he ran to the second 18-wheeler that had caught fire. The officer tried to get inside through the passenger door but it was locked so he ran around to the other side when a good samaritan stopped to help him.

The other man grabbed a small fire extinguisher out of his car but it wasn't enough to put out the flames. But that didn't stop the officer who opened the driver’s door of the burning big rig.

Waco police Sgt. Patrick Swanton spoke for the officer.

"He unbuckled him and dragged him out of the truck,” says Swanton. “He got him a little bit awake where he was able to walk away and he said as he was moving him away from the truck, the truck exploded and blew up."

Lanes in both directions were shut down for hours causing traffic to back up through Temple.

Police say when they asked the officer what happened he told them it was just an automatic response.

"He said I really didn't have time to think. I reacted. I knew that there was an individual in that truck and that he was going to died if I didn't do something, so he did what he had to do," says Swanton. 

Sgt. Swanton says the entire department is proud of the officer for going above and beyond.

That driver who was rescued did suffer a head injury but we don't have an update on his condition.

After giving his statement to investigators working the crash the heroic cop went into work as normal.

Waco PD says one of their off-duty officers pulled an unconscious driver from a burning big rig Tuesday morning on I-35. 

He saw the wreck happen and pulled over to help. After determining the driver of the first truck was out of his cab and okay, he went to help the person in the second truck, which was on fire. 

He tried to get in the passenger side, where the flames were less severe, but it was locked.  So he risked his own life, opened the burning driver's side door, unbuckled the driver's seat belt and pulled him to safety moments before the truck exploded. That officer said later he knew he didn't have much time and instincts took over.

Northbound lanes on I-35, near exit 316 in Bruceville Eddy, are back open after being shut down for hours after two semi trucks crashed early Tuesday morning.  Apparently one truck rear-ended the other in the northbound lanes of the interstate.

One truck was on fire and crews were able to put the blaze out. Traffic was being directed on to Frontage Roads.

Both drivers involved in the crash got out of their trucks, but we don't know if they're hurt.
About 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, TxDOT reported the wreck had been cleared, but crews were cleaning debris & hazmat fuel spill, causing backup.

Waco PD tweeted that all northbound lanes have been opened, but traffic will still be heavily backed up because of the wreck.
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