Bystander helps save Pa. police officer following fiery crash

Uniontown Police Department Officer Jay Hanley was responding to assist two officers on another call when the crash occurred


By Sarah Calams

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — A quick-thinking bystander has been credited with helping save a police officer's life following a fiery crash.

WTAE.com reported that Uniontown Police Department Officer Jay Hanley was responding to assist two officers on another call when the crash occurred. Daylan McLee, who was inside his house at the time of the crash, ran out to help Hanley, who was trapped in his burning patrol car. 

Daylan McLee stands on the porch of his home in Uniontown, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Daylan McLee stands on the porch of his home in Uniontown, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

"He was asking not to be moved. Not to be moved. His leg," McLee said. "Then we started to see the flames start to come inside of the car from the bottom and I knew we had to get him out. Another officer tried to assist me and I just ripped the door open and we started dragging him across the street before the car ignited or anything serious like that."

McLee and another officer pulled Hanley to safety, while another officer put out the fire. Hanley was flown to a hospital with a leg injury and later underwent surgery. 

"Daylan actually said, 'I'm not going to let him die,'" Uniontown Police Lt. Thomas Kolencik said. "There's just no words to describe, you know. We are so thankful that Daylan was in the area at the time. It could have been a lot worse."

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. 

"A lot of crazy things are going on in the world and I haven't had the best ends in life but I know the value of human life," McLee said. "You can't replace it. It's Father's Day. I'm not sure if he has children but I know he has family and I'm pretty sure they're glad to have him there and I'm glad he's home, or going to be home."

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