Watch: Cop runs onto highway to help drivers avoid fatal crash

Officer Charles Banks warned off oncoming cars with his flashlight while trying to save the crash victims, video shows

By Suzie Ziegler 

FERRIS, Texas — Officer Charles Banks is being hailed a hero after he ran into traffic, risking his own life to stop motorists from driving into a deadly crash.  

Banks was conducting a traffic stop when he heard a call about a wrong-way driver and saw that driver speeding past him, FOX 4 reported on Thursday. Banks got in his cruiser to catch up to the driver, but it was too late. The wrong-way driver crashed head-on into another car, killing four people. 

Seconds later, Banks had jumped out of his cruiser and crossed over the highway median. Banks stepped onto the road and waved his flashlight at oncoming cars to get them to slow down. He then returned to the crash scene, exposed in the center of the highway, and called for help while trying to rescue the occupants.  

“I can’t get them out,” Banks is heard saying. Bodycam video shows smoking wreckage of two cars. 

Banks was praised for his efforts. 

“Banks was a model officer," Ferris City Manager Brooks Williams told FOX 4. “He put his own life at risk to protect those in the accident, as well as those still on the road.” 

The wrong-way driver, 33-year-old Francisca Fuentes, died at the scene along with her two children, a one- and two-year-old. The car she struck was carrying 28-year-old Michael Coyne, who died, and two teenagers who survived. 

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