WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) - Witnesses and police officers pulled three men from a burning car after a crash involving a semi-truck.
It happened just after midnight April 21 on Clyde Park Avenue SW, south of 44th Street, in Wyoming.
An officer at the scene told 24 Hour News 8 the car was traveling north when a semi-truck pulled out in front of the car, resulting in a collision. Witnesses said the car was traveling at a high rate of speed.
Three people were inside the car that then caught on fire. Witnesses helped pull passenger Jacques Strong, 24, and driver Troy Milton, 24, from the vehicle.
Wyoming Police Department officers Jeremy Walter, Steve Rellinger and Robert Meredith soon arrived on scene and saw the car engulfed in flames.
---- Watch video from a police car dashboard camera, posted above, courtesy Wyoming Police Department ----
"Arrived on the scene and there were some bystanders there that were pointing in the car saying, yelling to me there was somebody still inside," Walter recalled.
Officer Walter used his fire extinguisher to beat back flames and he and Officer Steve Rellinger and some civilians were trying to cut the seat belt trapping barely-conscious passenger Clarence Lewis, 26.
"They were trying to pull him out. The thing was on fire -- smoke all over and we actually were having a little bit of trouble getting him out. We had to back out and take a break and come back in again," said Rellinger.
Then Walter was able to cut the shoulder belt. But still, the man wouldn't budge.
"We had his shoulder belt cut but his lap belt was holding him in and the flames were coming up under the dash where his legs were and I couldn't see his lap belt. Couldn't get to it. We were close. We knew we didn't have a lot of time," said Walter.
Then one of the civilians aimed a fire extinguisher into the car, the smoke cleared and Walter was able to see enough to cut the man loose and they dragged him to safety.
"The bystanders, rather I don't know who they are," said Walter. "I didn't get a chance to get their names, but I'm really glad they did what they did."
All three were occupants were transported to a hospital. Lewis was released from the hospital to a recovery facility. Milton and Strong remained in the hospital as of Tuesday.
The driver of the semi-truck was not hurt.
The Wyoming Police Department is working to determine who is at fault for the causing the crash.
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