Two Texas police officers and a passerby rescued an unconscious man from a burning SUV on Sunday in a dramatic scene that was caught on video from the patrol car's dash cam.
The video shows officers Ryan Nielson and Autumn Soto of the Mesquite Police Department arriving at the scene, where a vehicle is already in flames. The officers pry open the damaged door, then a passerby joins them to pull out the driver, 25-year-old Hector Valles.
The officers can be heard shouting encouragement to Valles as they remove him from the fiery wreck.
"Come on, dude, stay with us," one of them says.
Valles had been driving on I-30 in Mesquite when he swerved off the road, hit a post supporting a highway sign and came to a stop on a service road, where the vehicle burned, police say.
"I'm just thankful for him that we were that close because he had seconds… seconds left," Soto told WFAA in Dallas.
A firefighter who arrived on the scene shortly after the rescue agreed.
“It’s a matter of seconds right where he was sitting was on fire,” Mesquite Fire Department firefighter Vancy Lay told the local CBS station.
Nielson said he and Soto were just doing their jobs.
“Anybody at this police department would do the same exact thing,” Nielson told NBC-DFW. “Officers all across the country do this every single day. It’s not on video. It doesn’t get recognition. But they still go home with that satisfaction that they saved a life.”
Valles was taken to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, where he is being treated for burns as well as fractures in his back, legs and ribs, per WFAA. The Dallas Morning News reported that Valles was in intensive care.
Valles' mother, Olivia Valles, thanked the officers in a statement.
"We would like to thank the Mesquite police officers and witnesses whose heroic efforts saved our son," she said, according to the New York Daily News. "Hector is strong. He is a fighter. We are thankful to the Lord that he is here, he is recovering and is in good hands."
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