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Video shows officers pull man from burning car

Posted at 7:55 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 22:00:16-04

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- A man and a woman suffered serious burns after their car crashed and caught fire in Prince George County, Virginia, on Monday.

Officers who responded to the burning car were being credited for the couple's survival.

Jeff Craft, who was driving Monday afternoon, saw the car run off Courthouse Road and into the woods.

"I saw the smoke, immediately started coming out from underneath the car," Craft said.

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While he could not get close enough to help, he heard the woman screaming that her boyfriend was trapped.

Officer John Kuykendall was the first police officer to make it down to the burning car.

"His legs were underneath the car, the front bumper, he was laying there yelling for help," Officer Kuykendall said.

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"I saw the gentleman," Prince George County Police Officer Daniel Byrum recalled. "He was partially on fire. At which point, I had taken a fire extinguisher from another officer, and started to spray the fire around him."

Dana Newmyer, with Prince George Animal Control, also responded.

"Going down the hill, it was just a blaze of a vehicle fire, you couldn't see anything," Newmeyer said.

The group worked quickly to grab the man and pull him away from the fire.

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"It was a team effort and nobody hesitated, we didn't think twice about it," Officer Kuykendall said.

The fire burned Newmeyer's face and hair

"It's better to be semi injured and have people alive than the opposite," Newmeyer said.

The man and woman remained hospitalized with serious injuries.

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The officers suffered burns and heat-related injuries, but none required medical attention.

"Heroes. 100 percent," Craft said when asked to describe the rescuers.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

This story originally reported by Wayne Covil on WTVR.com.