Police and Law Enforcement

Harrowing rescue before car explosion caught on body cam

A police officer’s body camera caught the dramatic rescue of a man trapped inside a car fully engulfed in flames -- seconds before the vehicle exploded.

The rescue unfolded around 11:30 p.m. Sunday in Norton, Ohio, when officers Scott Seabolt and Brody Fratantonio rushed to pull 50-year-old Lowell Sears to safety. The car was in a ditch on the side of the road.

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“We’re gonna try to swing you out of the car, OK?” one of the officers is heard saying in the video as they tried to rouse the unconscious man. “Come on! Come on! Let’s go!”

Fratantonio broke through a car window before the worked to pull the 160-pound man about 40 to 50 yards away from the car, according to WEWS. Moments later, the car exploded.

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"Thank God I got there and my partner was there and we were able to get him out and make sure he wasn't in that second explosion or any of us were," Seabolt told WEWS.

He said the explosion seemed like from a movie and that it reinforces the dangers of wearing the uniform.

"If you would have asked me last week if I could handle a situation like this, I would say 'yes,' but I wouldn't know what it would look like," Seabolt said. "Now I can actually see, 'Wow, this is what you deal with.'"

Police said Sears might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he drove the car into the ditch.

Sears denied that he was drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. He told News 5 that he was grateful to the officers who saved his life.

"They risked their own life. They do that every day and I'm glad they're there to do their job," he said.