"I was not going to fail this woman and I was going to get her out of that car no matter what," Cpl. Pheng Ly said of the rescue

By Joelle Goldstein
October 22, 2020 11:47 AM
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A police officer is being hailed as a hero after he pulled a woman from her vehicle after it caught fire and overturned on the side of a California highway.

In dramatic body camera footage posted by the City of Davis Police Department, Cpl. Pheng Ly can be seen urgently running to the scene of the crash before pulling the woman out of her burning car.

"Thank you, Corporal Ly for running into danger to save a life," the police department wrote on Facebook. "We are a little extra proud today."

According to the post, the incident unfolded on Saturday night around 10:30 p.m. near Kidwell Road on the eastbound I-80.

Authorities said they were dispatched for a report of a vehicle on fire and when Ly arrived, he discovered that the car was overturned with the engine compartment, as well as part of the passenger compartment, fully engulfed in flames.

As shown in the bodycam footage on YouTube, Ly ran toward the danger without hesitation and asked a bystander if anyone was inside the vehicle.

When he learned there was a woman trapped inside, the officer immediately took action, shining his light inside the car and grabbing the woman by her hands. He then pulled her to safety a few yards away.

"Minutes after the rescue, the vehicle became completely engulfed in flames," the police department explained in its Facebook post.

Davis authorities said the woman — whose identity has not been released — was transported to a local hospital and treated before she was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.

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Following the incident, Ly spoke to NBC affiliate KCRA, where he explained why he was able to act so quickly and fearlessly in the face of danger.

"I realized that her life was 100% dependent upon me and my actions," he told the outlet. "And I said to myself, I was not going to fail this woman and I was going to get her out of that car no matter what."

"I was in the right place at the right time, really, to help out in the situation," Ly continued. "I'm glad I was there. Had I not been there, I don't know what would have happened."

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is currently investigating the incident, according to the Davis Police Department.

Anyone with information is asked to contact CHP Solano at (707) 428-2100.