Oak Ridge police officers rescued an unconscious driver from a burning vehicle that went down an embankment on Irene Lane on Friday night, authorities said.
The unnamed driver, a 26-year-old Oak Ridge resident, was taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville after the 11:30 p.m. crash, which shut down the northbound lanes of North Illinois Avenue, authorities said.
Eight officers responded, and they used fire extinguishers to fight the flames and keep police from getting burned, an Oak Ridge Police Department statement said. The Oak Ridge Fire Department also responded.
The ORPD statement said Officer Ray Steakley jerked the driver’s side window frame to a 90-degree angle to reach the driver’s compartment, after which he and Sgt. Ron Boucher rescued the trapped driver by pulling him through the window.
There was no one else in the vehicle. It reportedly hit utility poles on the embankment, which is above a small apartment complex.
Here is the Oak Ridge Police Department statement:
On Friday, April 26, 2013, at approximately 11:30 PM, Oak Ridge Police Officers were dispatched to a single motor vehicle crash on North Illinois Avenue, at Irene Lane.
Initial reports were a vehicle left the roadway, struck multiple utility poles, and was down an embankment on fire.
Officer Christopher Wallace was the first officer on the scene within one minute of being dispatched, and reported the driver, who was the lone occupant, was unconscious and trapped inside the burning vehicle. Officer Wallace directed responding personnel to deploy fire extinguishers upon arrival, as the engine compartment was fully engulfed in flames.
Officer Ray Steakley and Sergeant Ron Boucher arrived next, followed by Officers Christopher Carden, Christopher Luethge, Max Smith, Nathan Stinnett, and Trae Sweeten, who used their fire extinguishers to prevent the fire from burning Sergeant Boucher and Officer Steakley.
Eyewitnesses reported Officer Steakley forcefully jerked driver’s side window frame to a 90-degree angle to access the driver’s compartment, after which he and Sergeant Boucher rescued the trapped driver by pulling him through the window. The driver, who is an Oak Ridge resident, was transported to UT Hospital by ambulance.