Watch: Las Vegas officer details moments leading up to burning car rescue

Officer Derek Stebbins and a good Samaritan helped pull a man from the vehicle seconds before it went up in flames

By Ashley Silver

LAS VEGAS — After Las Vegas Metro Police released video showing the tense moments before an officer pulled a man from a car before it burst into flames this week, the heroic officer is now shedding more light on how the event unfolded.

In the video shared to social media by police, Officer Derek Stebbins and an unnamed bystander can be seen pulling a driver out of a vehicle on the Las Vegas Strip just before it caught fire.

Stebbins spoke with 8 News Now to recount the incident: “When I arrived, I noticed there was some smoke coming out of the vehicle. As I approached the vehicle, I noticed somebody had busted the window out of the passenger side of the vehicle that was there. I tried to make entry through the passenger door. We finally did get the door open, but the gentleman that was in the vehicle was leaning all the way over to the driver side of the vehicle so we were unable to pull him out from the passenger side."

Stebbins went on to say, “I continued to drag him back away from the car. As I did that … more flames, more smoke coming out of the vehicle before it became engulfed in flames. As I did get closer, I did notice a good Samaritan had already thrown something into the window before I had gotten up there. By the time I had gotten to the passenger side, I just asked everybody to move back because the car had already started having smoke come out of it. So I was just trying to make the scene safe while I was trying to work on getting the driver out of the vehicle."

According to 8 News Now, the driver, Alexander Dawkins, faces charges of DUI, failure to properly maintain a travel lane or improper lane change and failure to show proof of insurance. He was arrested at University Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries after the crash.

As Stebbins reflected on the chilling incident, he acknowledged the fact that the outcome could have been much worse: “If we weren’t there, I think he would have been burned in the vehicle. Would he have died? I don’t know, but I think he would have suffered severe burns just from how fast the vehicle caught fire."

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