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State troopers pull man from burning truck seconds before explosion

Posted at 1:49 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 15:49:54-05

SOMERSET COUNTY, N.J. – Two state troopers pulled a man out of a burning tractor-trailer just second before it exploded – and it was all caught on video.

New Jersey State Police say Trooper Robert Tarleton was speaking with a driver during a traffic stop on I-287 in Somerset County, New Jersey, when the tractor-trailer ran off the side of the road at about 3:35 p.m. Monday.

After striking a guardrail and bridge abutment, police say the truck became engulfed in flames.

Police say Tarleton immediately ran back to his vehicle to request fire and emergency medical services before rushing to the scene of the crash.

As Tarleton approached the truck, he saw another officer, Lieutenant Edward Ryer, attempting to rescue the driver from the cab. Ryer had been on his way home from work when he witnessed the crash.

Tarleton and Ryer then worked together to pull the driver from the burning truck, dragging him to safety, with just seconds to spare before the explosion.

Police say the driver sustained minor injuries in the crash and was transported to Morristown Medical Center for evaluation.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.