Dublin, OH - An off-duty Sunbury Police Officer, Matthew Bowman, selflessly put himself between danger and protecting the public on Monday.
According to Fox News, off-duty Officer Matthew Bowman, age 29, was driving his truck on an Ohio Interstate Highway when he saw a tanker carrying 8,000 gallons of gasoline explode not too far in front of him.
The incident occurred about 10:30 AM Monday when the tanker rammed into the guardrail of a fairly new ramp connecting Route 33 and I-270 and flipped on its side. Officer Bowman said "It was pretty intense...I saw the tanker explode and it took me a minute to get off the road and out of my truck.”
Officer Matthew Bowman, having some good sense, actually stopped rather than drive towards the wall of fire. Other drivers lacked that good sense, and continued into the inferno.
Officer Bowman said that the fire continued to spread quickly and he knew that he had to keep everyone as far back as possible from the fire. Some people stopped with no problem but others tried to drive around him. He said that "..once he told them he was serious and that he was doing it for their safety, they stopped."
The driver of the tanker was killed. Officer Bowman, who was a firefighter for three years before becoming a police officer, said that he just did what anyone else would do who was involved in public safety. He also said that he would be glad to never see a fire like this one again.
The black cloud of smoke could be seen from miles away. The heat from the fire was so hot that it melted parts of the concrete deck over the new 'flyover' ramp, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Several grass fires were also ignited. Traffic was backed up for hours following the crash, which shut down both highways in both directions.
The ramp remains closed and repairs are expected to take at least a week. No one else was injured.
Being a police officer means that you are truly never off-duty. Thanks to Officer Matthew Bowman for saving people from themselves.
Would you ever risk driving through a giant inferno? If so, we'd really like to hear from you on our Facebook page or in the comments below.