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Bodycam captures deputies rescue trapped driver from car before going up in flames


Dramatic bodycam video shows several Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office deputies rescuing a man who was trapped in a burning car early Dec. 8.

The 20-year-old driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel in the 15200 block of Clay Road shortly before 6 a.m. that morning and slammed into a tree in the center median, according to the constable’s office. A sergeant with the constable’s office was on his way home when he rolled up on the fiery wreck.

He’s seen with several other deputies frantically trying to free the man, whose leg was trapped by the mangled car. Some deputies fought off the flames with fire extinguishers while others worked on prying the trapped man free.

“We might have to break your leg, bro,” one of the deputies said in the video. “I’m sorry.”

Rescuers with the Houston Fire Department were already on their way to the crash, but the deputies knew they needed to pull the man out before fire consumed the entire vehicle. At one point, the man was heard screaming in pain as flames jumped the firewall from the engine into the car.

Deputies eventually pulled the man free after cutting his pants loose. Constable Ted Heap praised his deputies for their quick thinking and actions.

“These deputies showed incredible courage as they worked together to save this man’s life,” Heap said. “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.”

The man suffered broken bones and is still recovering in a Houston hospital, according to the constable’s office. The deputies involved in the rescue suffered minor burns but are otherwise OK.

Jay R. Jordan covers breaking news in the Houston area. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com — Follow him on Twitter at @JayRJordan — Email him at jay.jordan@chron.com

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