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Good Samaritans Rescue SLC Police Officer From Burning Car

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — An SLCPD officer is recovering thanks to the heroics of two everyday workers who pulled him out from his patrol car while it was up in flames.

Early Saturday morning, an officer found himself on the opposite side of his call.

“My car is on fire!” said the officer to dispatch. 

“Copy, car on fire.”

The officer was driving eastbound on 600 South when a southbound truck running a red light, crashed into him, lighting it on fire.

“Shortly thereafter, it sounds like he lost consciousness,” said Sgt. Keith Horrocks with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

That’s when two good samaritans — a desk clerk and a security guard from the nearby Motel 6 — ran to help.

“One grabbed a fire extinguisher, and the other attempted to rescue the officer from the burning vehicle,” said Horrocks.

The two motel employees pulled the unconscious officer out just in time.

“It’s very fortunate that he had as minor injuries as he does — if you saw the car, the car is pretty mangled, ” SLCPD Lt. Bill Manzanares said.

The officer was taken to a nearby hospital to be evaluated.

“I just keep thinking, you know, these two guys were at the right place at the right time and also took action, and we’re extremely grateful for that,” said Horrocks.

Actions that likely saved the officer’s life.

“It’s on both sides of the coin,” he said. “Officers put their lives on the line everyday for the community, and there are times when the community pays that back, and this is one of those situations, and we’re just really thankful that that happened.”

Joseph Daniel was one of the heroes.

The security guard said he feared the car would blow up before the officer got out, so he didn’t think twice about running to help.

“I screamed at him that the car was on fire. He had to get out,” said Daniel. “He couldn’t get out. He was banging on the window. I ripped the door handle off and moved the door, which was smashed and stuck just enough for him to push his way out.”

Daniel said he was happy to be there to help the officer.

“I just always think that they would’ve done the same, so it feels good to return the favor. I would’ve done that for anyone in need,” said the security guard.

The officer is now recovering at home with his family.

As for the truck driver, police said he was cooperative and stayed at the scene of the crash.

South Salt Lake PD has taken over the investigation and will determine if he is given a citation.

Manzanares said there was no sign of intoxication.

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