Body camera footage shows the moments Harper Woods Officer Luke Pauley runs up beside the vehicle already ablaze on Interstate 94 at Moross last Sunday, opening the front passenger door.
Dash cam video captured as another officer pulls up to the scene shows Pauley dragging the 23-year-old victim from his vehicle to safety on the side of the interstate.
"As soon as I got out of my squad car, there was bunch of bystanders yelling at me that somebody was trapped, so my training just kicked in," Pauley, 30, later told WDIV. "Somehow he made it into the passenger seat of the vehicle – I don't know if it was from the impact.
"It looked like he was trying to get himself out of the vehicle, but he was unsuccessful at doing so," the officer said, recalling how he found the victim going in and out of consciousness. "I reached my hand in because the outside door handle was locked, and I was able to unlock the door, and he pretty much just fell into my arms and that’s when I pulled him to safety."
Officer Daniel McCaw soon arrived to assist Pauley, requesting an ambulance. The driver was conscious as he was taken to a local hospital, Fox 2 Detroit reported. An investigation into the crash is being conducted by Michigan State Police.
"All I could think of was – perfect timing, glad we got here," Pauley said. "I don’t think he would have made it. Timing was perfect. Somebody was looking out for him."
Once Pauley managed to get the victim to the side of the road, two nurses who were stuck in traffic got out and started tending to him until the ambulance arrived, WDIV reported.