Bodycam video and photos were released this week of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officer who risked his life last Friday rescuing an injured man from an enflamed car on the Strip. He was assisted by a tourist with only seconds to spare.
A motorist was pulled from an enflamed car on the Las Vegas Strip, pictured above. A police officer and tourist are being called heroes for the rescue. (Image: LVMPD)
The tourist and police offer were able to pull the motorist away from the car before a massive fireball.
Smoke was billowing from the car when officer Derek Stebbins arrived at the scene. A passerby had smashed the passenger-side window in an initial effort to reach the trapped driver. However, the unconscious motorist was leaning to the driver’s side, so they couldn’t pull him through the passenger’s side.
With help from the tourist, Justin Mouser, Stebbins was able to open the passenger door. The two were able then to pull the injured driver from the engulfed car. Immediately, however, flames from the car began to spread.
Both worked with only seconds to spare before the vehicle went up in flames,” the LVMPD said on Twitter. “We are beyond thankful for the quick actions of our officer and the bystander for saving a life.”
Stebbins later recounted the ordeal to local tv station KLAS. Stebbins said he warned the public to stay away from the vehicle but is thankful Mouser stayed to help. Without Mouser’s help, the situation would have likely ended very differently.
“If we weren’t there, I think he would have been burned in the vehicle. Would he have died? I don’t know, but I think he would have suffered severe burns just from how fast the vehicle caught fire,” Stebbins told the local news station.
Mouser was visiting Vegas from Kentucky, where he works as a barber, according to local news reports. This was his first trip to Las Vegas. He returned home this week.
The driver, identified as Alexander Jay Dawkins, 34, was injured in the accident and the ensuing car fire. He was transported to University Medical Center. Details on his injuries weren’t immediately available, though media reports said he lost consciousness during the crash.
Dawkins was charged after the accident. Counts include DUI, failure to properly maintain a travel lane or improper lane change, and owner failing to show proof of insurance, KLAS said.
Stebbins suffered smoke inhalation but has returned to duty. Mouser was not injured.
Good Samaritan’s Account
Mouser also recounted the event to local news. He and his wife were walking on the Strip when, suddenly, they witnessed a BMW crash into a palm tree in the center partition near the Venetian.
After a couple of minutes passed and no one got out of the car, Mouser said he began increasingly concerned.
Somebody needs to look in to see what’s wrong with him,” Mouser told KVVU, a local TV station.
Mouser remembers the officer warned him and the other passersby to move away from the car. But he stayed.
“I probably should have listened to him, but I tried to help,” Mouser said.
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