TERRELL, Texas - A rookie sheriff's deputy in Texas is being praised as a hero for pulling a man from a fiery crash, saving his life.
Media outlets report 23-year-old Kaufman County Deputy Conner Martin, just four months out of police academy, was tested Tuesday when responding to a wreck on Interstate 20 about 30 miles east of Dallas. A truck had crashed into the back of a semitrailer and caught on fire. Good Samaritans had stopped and tried to use a fire extinguisher on the flames, but 59-year-old Michael Pierce was still trapped underneath the truck's crumpled dashboard.
"That's when I started asking God, 'Please, please don't let me burn to death,'" Pierce told KXAS-TV.
Footage from Martin's body camera shows him running to the crash, entering the truck and attempting to free Pierce as the cab fills with smoke.
"The steering wheel wasn't moving and the flames started to come in on the floorboard down at his feet where his legs were trapped," Martin told KXAS-TV. "I was aware of the danger. I really wasn't scared."
After several attempts, Martin was able to move the dash panel, free Pierce's leg and pull him from the burning truck. Pierce was airlifted to a Dallas hospital and was in good condition on Thursday afternoon, according to WFAA-TV.
Martin was checked out by paramedics on scene, but was uninjured and was able to finish his shift.
The humble deputy told local media he doesn't consider himself to be a hero.
"I think I got lucky and I was in the right place at the right time to be able to help him," Martin said. "I know many other deputies here would do the same thing."
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