SOLANO COUNTY (CBS13) — Seconds away from burning alive, a woman trapped in her flaming car was pulled to safety by a Davis police officer Saturday night.
Officer Pheng Ly’s body-cam captured every moment of the terrifying scene on the shoulder of Interstate 80 in Solano County. As Officer Ly arrived at the fiery crash, he yelled out “Is anybody in there? Who’s in there, who’s in there?”
Panicked bystanders pointed to the car and yelled that a woman was trapped inside. At that moment, Officer Ly knew the seconds mattered. The fire was spreading fast through the car and dry grass and the woman was not moving.
“I could feel the heat of the fire on the right side of my face,” Officer Ly said.
He dragged the driver, by the wrists, to safety, unsure if the car might blow up.
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Officer Ly was closest to the scene when the call came in about the car burning off of I-80 in Solano County near the Kidwell exit.
He had no idea he’d be a trapped woman’s last hope.
“It was really at that moment that I realized her life was dependent upon my actions in the next 30 to 60 seconds and I needed to do something right away,” he said. “I realized that the Good Samaritans weren’t going to go in because of how dangerous and volatile the situation was and I understand that.”
Backup didn’t come for another three minutes. Three minutes that could have changed a person’s life forever.
“I told myself I was not going to fail this woman. I was going to get her out of that car no matter what,” he said.
Decades of training and discipline on the job came through.
“I’m very lucky that I’m OK. I’m alive and so is she,” Officer Ly said.
Officers don’t know exactly what led up to the crash but they said the female driving was later arrested for DUI. Ly said he hopes this can be a lesson learned.