The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has released bodycam footage showing the moment a driver was pulled from his car just before it went up in flames on the city’s strip on Friday, January 27.
The video shows LVMPD Convention Center Area Command Officer Derek Stebbins finding the driver unconscious in the crashed vehicle on the Las Vegas Strip. He then pulls the man from the burning car, with the help of a bystander, before flames engulf the driver’s side.
Speaking in the video, Stebbins said: “This is exactly why I joined the force. It was to help people.”
Traffic camera footage, also released by the police, showed a wider angle of the pair pulling the man from the vehicle. Credit: LVMPD via Storyful
- This is exactly why I joined the force was to help people. Everybody thinks all we do is take bad guys to jail. We save people's lives at the same time, and that's what we signed up to do for this job.
It was about 4:30 in the afternoon daylight. Clear day. Roads were dry and everything. Sunny. And it just happened to be that he ended up coming southbound on the boulevard and for some reason, ended up crashing into a palm tree that's in the center median of the boulevard.
As I walked up, I could still see smoke. I didn't see any flames at the time, but I did see a lot of smoke coming from beneath the car.
He's unconscious. He's not moving. Instincts kicked in. I reached in, grabbed him, pulled him out of the driver's seat. I noticed that the civilian was next to me grabbing his arm as I was pulling him out. Just as I got him to the ground away from the car, the car went up in flames and smoke.
Being where I was at and the response time to get there saved his life. Just the way he was sitting in the driver's side of the vehicle and trying to get him out, with me hooking both of my arms around him to try to pull him out, and then him kind of grabbing an arm to help steer him out of the vehicle did help tremendously.
He did walk off. By the time we had dragged him away from the vehicle, I did not notice where he went from there. I would say thank you. He's just as much as a hero as I am for just wanting to stick around and help get that gentleman out of the car.
- Come here.
[EMERGENCY SIRENS WAILING]
- Drag him. Drag him.