CHICAGO (CBS) — A pair of good Samaritans were credited with saving a driver’s life, after a car crashed and caught fire last month in west suburban Aurora.
Aurora police have released dashboard camera video showing 58-year-old Jose Martinez pulling a 34-year-old man out of a burning car shortly after midnight on March 31, outside Martinez’s home near New York Street and Parkside Avenue.
“I went around the back of the passenger side, and I opened the door. He was slumped over on the passenger side,” Jose Martinez told CBS 2’s Mai Martinez. “I dragged them out … he was unconscious.”
A second man, 29-year-old Devin Johnson, then dragged the victim further away from the burning car, as police officers checked to make sure no one else was inside.
Police said the driver, a 34-year-old man, was charged with DUI and multiple traffic offenses after the single-vehicle crash.
He suffered burns and other injuries in the crash.
“To say Jose’s actions were heroic and brave are an understatement. Had he not taken immediate action, the driver would not have lived. Devin should also be commended for assuring the man was out of harm’s way. Outstanding job, gentlemen,” Aurora police said in a Facebook post.
“My natural reaction was to try to get the guy out,” Martinez said. “My wife told me I was crazy.”
Police said the driver was taken to the hospital for treatment, but his injuries were not life-threatening.