AUBURN (CBS13) – An Auburn police officer involved in a fiery crash was rescued by two good Samaritans who happened upon the scene, authorities say.
Auburn police say the officer was attempting to pull over a dirt bike for allegedly failing to yield Tuesday night when the officer crashed into a curb, then a wall in the 200 block of Lincoln Way near Grace Street. The vehicle then caught fire.
As the patrol car started getting engulfed by flames, the officer found that he couldn’t open the door to get out.
Luckily, two bystanders jumped into action and were able to pull the officer out of the burning car.
“I am extremely thankful of the quick actions taken by the two bystanders tonight. Their courage to put themselves in harms’ way to save our police officer is beyond exemplary,” said Auburn Police Chief Ryan L. Kinnan in a statement.
The officer was transported to the hospital to be treated for moderate injuries.
Police say, with the help of a California Highway Patrol aircraft, the motorcycle the officer was originally chasing was located and the rider, identified as 29-year-old Meadow Vista resident Ryan Schlittenhart, was taken into custody.
“Our officers put their lives on the line every day to do their best to protect our community and make it safe. Tonight is a reminder of just how dangerous their job is and how quickly situations can change,” Kinnan said.
The name of the officer injured has not been released at this point.