Editor’s Note: In two separate incidents this week an officer has saved a person’s life by removing them from a burning vehicle. In these scenarios, with only a few moments to act, carrying a tactically sound rescue knife can make all of the difference. See the related video tip
Related: N.Y. officer saves man from burning car
Ron Clayton, Correspondent
Chattanooga Times Free Press
ATHENS, Tenn.- A McMinn County deputy is being credited with saving the life of a man he had been pursuing in a high-speed car chase.
Deputy Mike Patterson pulled the man from his burning vehicle after it ran off the road and into a tree, then burst into flames.
Brandon Reed, of Ten Mile, Tenn., suffered burns and broken bones, but he was is in stable condition Monday evening at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, officials said.
Sheriff Steve Frisbie said he expects to file charges, including drug possession and felony evading arrest, against Mr. Reed.
According to the sheriff, the incident began Sunday with a speeding violation on state Route 68 in North McMinn County.
"(Mr. Reed) was speeding, and Deputy Mike Patterson tried to pull him over," Sheriff Frisbie said, noting the deputy clocked the car at 73 mph in a 55 mph zone.
Mr. Reed sped up, pulling into the emergency lane to pass two vehicles before turning on county Road 286, the sheriff said. That's when the car left the road and hit a tree, catching on fire, he said.
Deputy Patterson, with the help of a motorist who stopped, broke a window to pull Mr. Reed from the car, just before it exploded, the sheriff said.
"He saved the man's life," Sheriff Frisbie said. "He did a good job."
Mr. Reed was flown by medical helicopter to Knoxville.
Sheriff's officials said they got a call from the hospital that medical attendants had found a bag of suspected drugs taped to Mr. Reed's body.
Lt. Bill Farmer said it tested to be 2.4 grams of methamphetamine, but it was sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation lab for further for analysis.
Copyright 2006 Chattanooga Publishing Company
Tenn. police chase becomes a rescue