Plainfield officer, Hendricks County deputies and passerby rescue man from burning car
By Lindsay Doty
The rescue happened following a two-vehicle accident around 1:30 a.m. on June 14. Plainfield police say a pickup truck and a small passenger car collied head-on along East County Rd 100 South in Plainfield, injuring both drivers.
When the first two officers arrived they discovered that the driver of the mangled car was trapped inside and not responding, according to investigators. The car was starting to smoke and shoot flames.
“We knew we didn’t have much time,” said Plainfield Police Cpl. Javier Casas, who was first to respond, along with Hendricks County Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Haak.
The two men took a fire extinguisher to put out the flames so they could get closer to the trapped driver. “It was difficult. The front end of the vehicle and driver’s side was demolished and the driver’s legs were trapped under steering wheel and dashboard,” explains Cpl. Casas. He says the man was losing blood fast and the car was starting to ignite again.
According to officers, Hendricks County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Sanchez arrived and they were able to use his fire extinguisher to work on the flames.
Police say another man, Evan Bennett, who happened to be driving by the accident stopped to offer his help. “I always told myself to stop and help if I ever had the chance because I would hope someone would do the same for me,” said Bennett, who was headed home from visiting friends in Clayton.
Together, he and the two officers were able to pull the man out of the driver’s window just seconds before the car engulfed in flames.
“Thirty seconds. If it wasn’t for both fire extinguishers and everyone working as a team, it wouldn’t have worked,” said Cpl Cases.
“I did break down after because I had never been so close up to an accident like that,” recalls Evan Bennett. “I felt really good about being there and doing my part to save that man’s life,” he said.
The driver who was pulled from the fiery car was taken to the hospital and is in serious condition, according to investigators The driver of the pickup was also taken to the hospital for injuries. Their names have not been released.
Plainfield Police are investigating the cause of the crash but do not believe drugs and alcohol were involved at this time.