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Stunning video shows officers, bystanders rescuing driver from fiery crash


By Jeff Tavss

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    LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah (KSTU) — Newly-released body camera video shows an officer with the Unified Police Department rescuing a dump truck driver from a fiery crash in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

The rescue came just moments after the truck drove straight into an embankment in the canyon early Monday.

Video starts with the officer, only identified as Ofc. Wilson, a 13-year veteran with the Canyon Patrol Unit, arriving at the crash scene as flames surround the truck. At the time, Wilson and another person were unaware of where the driver was located.

Once the unidentified driver is found almost fully buried under crash debris, Wilson hops onto his radio to inform dispatch.

“Driver’s unable to get out of the truck, it is actively burning!,” said the officer.

The driver told Wilson he was trapped and that he believed his right arm was broken. At that point, the officer called out to nearby bystanders for a fire extinguisher.

Wilson is then seen using a small knife to cut away something from the driver’s body, while he and others move debris.

One minute later, Wilson grabs the driver’s left arm and is able to pull him out from the debris.

“You’re doing great!,” Wilson told the driver. “You’re doing awesome, bud!”

The officer then told dispatch that they were moving the driver away from the flames, while also saying the man had suffered multiple compound fractures to his arm and lacerations.

Bystanders can be seen assisting the driver away from the crash scene and towards the canyon road where fire crews are waiting to put out the flames and give medical assistance.

“If it wasn’t for those other individuals, who knows who long it would have taken this officer to get the victim out,” said Sgt. Aymee Race. “These people stepped in, listened to what the officer had to say, and they were all willing to help.”

The driver was transported to the hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery. Officials have not said what caused the truck crash, but that impairment does not seem to be a factor.

“When everyone’s running away, we’re running to it. and this is a perfect example of this is why we love to do what we do,” said Race. “These are the moments, we want to save people, we want to help people.”

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