Thanks to emails from 'Patch' readers, we gathered details on the heroic efforts of a Manchester police officer and good samaritan who risked their lives to pull a man from a burning car. Watch the dash cam video here.
As previously reported by Town and Country - Manchester Patch, Manchester Police Officer Gerad Gonzalez and Des Peres resident Joe Caruso risked their lives last week to pull an unconscious man from burning car right before it exploded.
The accident happened at Dougherty Ferry and Carman roads, just on the outskirts of Manchester, around 9:51 p.m. Tuesday. The dramatic rescue from the fiery crash and the events that unfolded afterward were all caught on the police dash cam video in this article.
Even some witnesses sent in words of kindness and appreciation. Following are some of the emails Town and Country - Manchester Patch received, hailing Gonzalez a "hero" the night he pulled up to two blazing SUVs and ran right toward them.
"He got into and pulled the injured man from the SUV while it was on fire & exploding. The scene was horrific." "I was inside my car & saw the officer in a blue uniform rush towards the black SUV. The passenger side was on fire and the Blazer was fully engulfed and was literally exploding. The officer got inside of the SUV and pulled the guy out and dragged him away to safety. Then tended to the other driver until the fire truck and other police officers arrived. There was a lot of commotion. The policeman who rescued the driver is a real hero. "
Tommy Walker FF/EMT-
"...the heroic actions of Officer Gerrad Gonzalez, who once arriving on scene, pulled the unconscious driver from the flaming automobile. As a paramedic firefighter myself, I know full well the danger officer Gonzalez faced and truly believe he deserves at least the recognition of his actions." "'Gonzo' is a great officer and I was very proud to hear of his heroic actions. Manchester is lucky to have him as an officer. I'm a full time paramedic and a recent grad of the County Fire academy."
"Just wanted to give you a heads up regarding a Manchester Police officer, blue car/uniform, that I saw pulling a driver out of a burning vehicle Tuesday night. It was at Carman and Dougherty Ferry. I was driving by and he was the only emergency vehicle there at the time. It was a very serious 2 car accident and I think that someone should recognize him in some way for his actions!!!"
Patch would like to thank readers for the emails alerting us to the efforts of Officer Gonzalez and Caruso. It was because of you that we learned what happened that night and could then gather more information. We encourage Patch readers to continue emailing in information and news tips in the future.