Police body camera footage captured the dramatic rescue of a passenger inside a burning car in Atlanta early Sunday
Police body camera footage captured the dramatic rescue of a passenger inside a burning car in Atlanta early Sunday, PEOPLE confirms.
The vehicle, a sedan, first caught fire when it struck a metal utility pole before sunrise, police said. The resulting flames from the collision engulfed the car.
Responding bystanders were able to successfully pull several occupants out of the vehicle before police arrived. But when officers got on the scene, the front-seat passenger was still stuck inside, appearing unconscious and unable to exit.
Video from one of the officers’ body cameras showed what happened next, around 4 a.m. Sunday: Police used fire extinguishers while plying the car door, eventually removing the occupant and carrying him to safety.
Officer Brittany Williams told ABC News she said to the passenger: “You’re leg is about to catch on fire, you need to pull it together and just give me whatever you have left.”
“You gotta get the door,” one person shouted in the video.
“Pull him out, pull him out,” another screamed.
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Three people were transported to a local hospital in stable condition following the rescue, authorities said.
In a statement to PEOPLE, an Atlanta police spokesman praised the speed and courage of the officers.
“They acted quickly and with determination and ultimately were able to remove the passenger before he sustained further injury,” Officer Jarius Daugherty said. “We are also thankful for the actions of the citizens who stopped and assisted immediately after the accident.”
“This accident could have been much worse than it was where it not for the actions of the citizens and officers who put aside concern for their own safety and acted to help those in need,” Daugherty continued.
Investigators are working to determine what led to the crash and who was driving the vehicle at the time, Atlanta police said Monday.
Speaking with ABC, Williams said that after the rescue, “We literally like gave each other a hug at the end of it because we were just so overwhelmed.”