Bodycam: Man rescued from car as it bursts into flames on Las Vegas Strip
LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) - A daring rescue in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip stunned tourists and bystanders, and it was captured on a police officer’s body camera.
Officer Derek Stebbins with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and a good Samaritan, Justin Mauser, pulled the unconscious man out of his car just as it was engulfed in flames.
Police released the bodycam footage, and Stebbins told the story Tuesday.
Mauser was a tourist from Kentucky who happened to be walking by the Venetian when the crash happened. The white BMW slammed into the median, hitting a palm tree.
“If we weren’t there, I think he would have been burned in the vehicle,” Stebbins said.
As Stebbins walked to the driver’s door, bystanders started screaming.
The good Samaritan jumped in the car. In the video, the officer tells Mauser “Got it (the door open), go to that side, go to that side sir!”
The driver was unresponsive, but they were able to pull him out.
“I continued to drag him back away from the car. I did that. It began more flames, more smoke coming out of the vehicle before it became engulfed,” Stebbins said.
Mauser was on his first trip to Las Vegas when his wife witnessed the crash, and he ran over to the car.
“I thought, ‘Well man, someone needs to look in to see what is wrong with him,’” Mauser said.
Stebbins told everyone to move back, but Mauser said he had selective hearing.
“I don’t hear very well, or sometimes act like I don’t, so maybe I probably should have listened to him. But I tried to help,” Mauser said.
“I think it was awesome that he stayed; I pushed a lot of them back just to make sure the scene was safe,” Stebbins said.
Stebbins was hospitalized due to smoke inhalation but is now back on the beat and ready to protect and serve the public once again.
The driver who was pulled out of the car, Alexander Dawkins, is facing DUI charges. He was also treated at the hospital for injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.
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