A police officer successfully rescued two children from a burning car ignited in a chain reaction crash involving a semi truck on Wednesday evening.
The rescue occurred on November 4th at around 5:10 p.m. in Phillips County, Kansas.
According to KWCH News, Deputy John Miner parked his patrol car on the side of Highway 383 and left it to assist with a disabled vehicle. As Miner was helping with the disabled vehicle, an approaching semi truck began barreling towards them. The truck driver managed to swerve at the last second, but not before clipping the back of the patrol car, sending it flying into a nearby ditch.
The semi truck then crashed into two other vehicles stopped in front of the patrol car. The force of the impact ruptured the truck’s fuel tank, spraying fuel everywhere. As the truck skidded into the ditch and caught fire, the cars ignited as well, trapping two children inside.
Miner then sprung into action and rushed to the burning vehicles, slicing the car seat straps and pulling the entrapped children, two and four, from the fiery wreckage, all while partially on fire, reported Hutch Post.
Miner was able to extinguish himself by rolling in the nearby alfalfa field before calling for help.
“Deputy Miner suffered minor burns when he rescued two children from one of the burning vehicles,” the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office said.
“Of the nine victims involved, Deputy Miner is the only one to suffer injuries,” the Sheriff’s Office continued.
“We’re grateful for the quick response of EMS, Fire, KDOT and KHP, and that there was no loss of life.”
Miner was transported to a nearby hospital following the accident, but has since been transferred to another facility for treatment of his third-degree burns. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.
The 59-year-old truck driver, Jerry D. Richard, told police that he was blinded by the setting sun, preventing him from seeing the three stopped cars in front of him.
The incident is still under investigation.