Houston, TX – A car crash victim trapped in a burning vehicle was saved by Harris County Constable’s Office (HCCO) deputies mere seconds before his car became engulfed by flames (video below).
The incident began shortly before 6 a.m. on Dec. 8, when 20-year-old Jonathan Morales-Fuentes fell asleep at the wheel, KABC reported.
“I rolled down the window, but I was sleepy,” Morales-Fuentes told the news outlet.
A moment later, he slammed into a tree, demolishing the front of his car and trapping his leg inside.
Moments after the crash, HCCO Sergeant Lance Anderson happened to turn down the same roadway, and spotted the vehicle on fire.
“I never took that road to go home before,” Sgt. Anderson told KABC. “I was going back to leave a report at the office. There were so many coincidences that morning.”
Sgt. Anderson and a tow truck driver “tried in vain to get into the car and help the trapped driver,” the department said in the video release.
Additional deputies arrived at the scene, and they all worked to “temporarily slow down the spreading flames” using fire extinguishers while they raced to free Morales-Fuentes’ trapped right foot, the agency said.
“We might have to break your leg, bro – I’m sorry,” one of the deputies warned Morales-Fuentes as smoke billowed out of the cab of his car.
As the flames continued to overtake the interior, one deputy managed to cut the driver’s pants, which enabled them to yank him out of the car.
They dragged Morales-Fuentes to safety just as the flames fully engulfed the interior of his destroyed vehicle.
He was transported to a local hospital with a torn shoulder, a broken nose, and two shattered eye sockets, according to KABC.
He was taken into surgery, and is expected to make a full recovery, the HCCO said.
Multiple deputies suffered minor burns and singed hair as a result of the blaze, but none were seriously injured.
“These deputies showed incredible courage as they worked together to save this man’s life,” HCCO Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap said in the release. “You never know, until you find yourself in a situation like this, how you’ll react. The way they responded under extremely stressful and dangerous conditions makes me proud to wear the same Precinct 5 badge.”
You can watch bodycam footage of the dramatic rescue in the video below: