BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two New Jersey State Troopers saved a driver from a burning truck earlier this week, and their heroics were captured on video.
Now they’re speaking out about their life-saving efforts, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported Wednesday.
The dramatic footage shows a truck driver pulled from his burning vehicle on I-287 in Bridgewater Township on Monday afternoon, after officials said he swerved off the highway into a guardrail and bridge.
“Within a second the cab burst into flames,” Lt. Edward Ryer said. “Initially, when I saw it hit the bridge I knew it was going to be a bad accident and then when I saw the flames I knew it went from bad to worse.”
— NJSP – State Police (@NJSP) March 3, 2020
Ryer and Trooper Robert Tarleton were in the right place at the right time. Ryer was on his way home and pulled over. Tarleton was in the middle of a motor vehicle stop and stopped what he was doing, jumped in his car, and called for help over the radio.
Both separately knew what they had to do, running toward the chaos.
“I was calling out to make sure that he was in there. The heat was pretty in intense. He was in and out of consciousness. We pulled him out together and got him out of there,” Ryer said.
With the help of other troopers, EMS workers and even that driver who got pulled over moments before the chaos, teamwork may have saved the driver’s life.
“They trained us to help people and to uphold the standards of New Jersey State Police, which are honor, duty, and fidelity,” Ryer said. “I thank God for putting me there to help out and for giving me the strength to do so.”
“I’m just really happy that everything panned out the way that it did,” Tarleton said.
It’s unclear what caused the driver to crash, but officials said he has just minor injuries and is expected to be okay, Roy reported.