2 Phoenix officers, 2 bystanders pull injured driver from burning car

Jan 28, 2022, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:10 am

PHOENIX – Two Phoenix police officers who pulled an unconscious man from a burning SUV this week shrugged off praise and said the rescue was all in a day’s work.

Two good Samaritans helped Officers Jessica Hunting and Rachel Fernandez get the man out of the overturned vehicle at 31st Avenue and Thunderbird Road on Wednesday morning.

“Just another day,” Hunting said during a press conference Thursday, underplaying her role in the dramatic extrication that was captured on their body-worn cameras.

The driver suffered injuries that weren’t life threatening, the Phoenix Police Department said in a social media post that lauded the officers’ actions.

Footage showed Fernandez, a rookie, kneeling on the ground peering into the driver-side window. Hunting ran toward the spot carrying a fire extinguisher.

“The flames … kept getting bigger,” Fernandez said. “We only had one little fire extinguisher. Just mitigate it at that point,” she said.

They managed to wrench open a door.

“You don’t know if the fire’s going to increase, not increase; explode, not explode,” Hunting, who has been in the force for three years, said. “He’s my main concern. Who cares what happens to me? He’s my main priority.”

The first responders, along with the bystanders, dragged the man from the driver’s seat and carried him several feet away from the wreckage.

“Just doing my job,” Hunting said. “I don’t think I come anywhere near close to being a hero.

“Every morning when I wake up, I just put on the uniform, put on the badge and think to myself, ‘I’m just another police officer out there doing her job.'”

No other vehicles were involved in the crash, police said.

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2 Phoenix officers, 2 bystanders pull injured driver from burning car