Good Samaritans save NC deputy after fiery crash, rescuer says

Video posted to Facebook shows a car on fire moments after the crash

By Simone Jasper
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

BERTIE COUNTY, N.C. — A group was heading down an Eastern North Carolina road when a car careened off the pavement and slammed into a tree.

Onlookers said they saw the car smoking and "jumped into action" last week to save the on-duty Bertie County deputy who was inside.

Rashid Lee told McClatchy News he went toward the car and saw the deputy trying to get out. Just as bystanders pulled his feet out, the car became engulfed in flames.

Video posted to Facebook shows a car ablaze after the man was rescued.


Last night around 7:30pm, after receiving a dispatch call in the opposite direction of where he was headed. An officer did a 3-point road turn in front of us (we were about 100 yards or so away). He hit the gas and suddenly swerved off to the right. We were all confused, as we got closer we noticed that the car ran straight into the trees! So we immediately jumped into action! . . . . . All in all, Bop, Kyia, a bystander, and I managed to get him away from the burning vehicle before it burst into flames. What a crazy way to start off the new year but I’m happy to be able to bless someone by saving their life! 🙏🏽🖤#2021

Posted by DY Keemer on Friday, January 1, 2021

"What a crazy way to start off the new year but I'm happy to be able to bless someone by saving their life," Dajour Keemer wrote in the post's caption.

He and others said they were traveling to the town of Lewiston Woodville on New Year's Eve when the group saw the deputy's cruiser turn on its lights and make a three-point turn.

"With the way it has rained, it was very wet and he was not able to get the car back on the road, and the car struck a tree and caught on fire," said Bertie County Sheriff John Holley, according to the Bertie Ledger-Advance.

Holley said the deputy was injured and taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, roughly 85 miles east of Raleigh, WITN reported. North Carolina state troopers were expected to investigate the crash, according to news outlets.

Akyia Stephenson, who called first responders to the scene, said she was grateful to be "in the right place at the right time" to offer help.

"Aside from his injuries and stuff, we felt good... knowing that he survived," Stephenson said in a phone interview with McClatchy.

The Bertie County Sheriff's Office didn't immediately respond to McClatchy News' requests for information on Monday morning.

(c)2021 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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