04/08/2014

Video: Minn. cops save man from fiery wreck

Video footage from the officers' squad car dashboard camera shows the car engulfed in flames. Seconds later, the two officers are seen hustling toward it

By Sarah Horner
Pioneer Press

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — Two Maplewood police officers will be honored for saving the victim of a fiery car crash Friday evening.

Video footage from the officers' squad car dashboard camera shows the car engulfed in flames. Seconds later, the two officers are seen hustling toward it.

Hearing cries for help, the officers later said they saw two arms raised through the driver's side window.

Each taking hold of an arm, the officers pulled a 20-year-old man from the flames consuming the car.

For their efforts, officers Clint Abel and Jason Marino will be honored at an upcoming Maplewood City Council meeting with the department's Life Saving Award.

The two responded to a report of a car crash at 11:50 p.m. Friday at the southwest corner of Larpenteur and White Bear avenues in St. Paul.

After pulling the victim from the car, the officers used their gloved hands to pat out the man's burning pants.

The first part of the rescue was captured on the squad car video.

The semi-conscious victim, Ronnie L. Christmas, was taken to Regions Hospital, where he was being treated for extensive burns to the lower half of his body.

"We are extremely proud of the actions taken by Officers Abel and Marino," Police Chief Paul Schnell said in a Monday statement. "Had these officers not selflessly and heroically responded, the occupant ... would have certainly died."

A citizen will also be honored at the council meeting for rendering aid to Christmas.

Copyright 2014 the Pioneer Press


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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