Lifestyle & Human Interest

Officers Rescue Unconscious Driver After SUV Hits Power Pole, Flips and Catches on Fire


On Wednesday, a man driving in Phoenix near 31st Ave. and Thunderbird Rd. struck a power pole, flipping his SUV and rendering him unconscious.

People in the surrounding area lost power and the car burst into flames. Good Samaritans rushed to the scene, and it wasn’t long before Phoenix Police Department officers Rachel Fernandez and Jessica Hunting arrived.

“Anybody inside?” Hunting shouted as she approached the burning car, to which someone replied “yes.”

Hunting and Fernandez worked together to try to keep the flames at bay with an extinguisher and assess the unconscious man. Realizing the car could explode at any moment, the two officers decided to remove the man from the vehicle.

“And I don’t know, you know, how long we have until this car could possibly cause an explosion,” Fernandez later said during a news conference, according to KNXV-TV.

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“I just need to get this guy out,” Hunting recalled thinking. She said after performing a sternum rub on the man, he regained consciousness.

With the help of two good Samaritans, the man was removed from the car and carried a safe distance away.

“When seconds matter, we come together as a community to help those in need,” the Phoenix Police Department posted on Facebook on Thursday.

“Two #PHXPD officers, with the help of community members, pulled a man from a vehicle on fire that was involved in a collision yesterday near 31st Ave. and Thunderbird.”

Thankfully the man only sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital for care. Fernandez and Hunting suffered some bruising, cuts from broken glass and smoke inhalation.

“And if I get hurt in the process, it doesn’t matter,” Fernandez said. “We’re going to get it done, and we’re going to make sure that everybody else is good.”

It was their first rescue together, and while Hunting said it was a memorable day, Fernandez also expressed that these sorts of events are par for the course.

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“Wow, that really just happened,” Hunting said. “It was our first time riding together and it was definitely going to be the day to remember.”

“I did my job and now I’m ready for the next call.”

“This is abnormal for a lot of people, but for us, it’s just a normal day,” Fernandez said, also brushing aside the suggestion that they are heroes.

The Phoenix Police Department is still investigating the cause of the accident.

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