Watch: Bystanders, police rescue man from burning car

After two vehicles crashed, one of the vehicles plunged into an embankment and caught fire


By Christal Hayes
The Orlando Sentinel

PALM BAY, Fla. — Dramatic video captured police and bystanders heroically rescuing a man trapped in a burning car Sunday in Palm Bay.

The man and another vehicle crashed about 11 a.m. on Dixie Highway Northeast, off the coast of the Indian River. His car plowed into an embankment off the side of the road and caught fire.

Sgt. Steve Shytle and officer Ryan VanNote hurried into the embankment to try and pull the trapped driver from the vehicle.

Bystanders went down the steep embankment to help as onlookers yelled "Please hurry! Please! Please get him!"

Others looked down in worry, one woman cupping both of her hands over her mouth.

Another woman prayed and asked the man be saved.

"Jesus Lord! In Jesus name, we need angels lord," she said in the video. "Help us get him! You will not die! You will live!"

The crowd cheered as the man was finally pulled from the car just as the flames and smoke started to take over the vehicle.

The officers and a pair of bystanders started to pull the man up but kept loosing their footing. A bystander yelled "Make a chain!"

At least six others linked arms and helped pull the man up to the road.

He was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, but is expected to be OK. No one else was injured in the crash or rescue.

Officers said the driver became combative during the rescue and had to be handcuffed as they pulled him up.

"If it weren't for all the bystanders that helped our officers, it could have been a very bad situation, but now it's going to be a great story as soon as he recovers from his injuries," said Palm Bay spokeswoman Karyn Barber.

Barber said the cause of the crash is unknown, and officers are investigating.

Copyright 2016 The Orlando Sentinel 

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