Florida police pull man from burning SUV after he crashed into ditch


WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. (WESH) — West Melbourne and Palm Bay police rescued a man from a burning sport utility vehicle Thursday morning.

According to Officer Joshua Kennedy with West Melbourne police, it happened in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn & Suites in West Melbourne around 10:30 a.m.

Police believe the male driver may have suffered a medical episode before crashing into the ditch on the back side of the parking lot, causing the SUV to burst into flames.

“The vehicle was fully engulfed at one point,” Kennedy said.

Officers who happened to be at the hotel for an unrelated investigation saw the flames and quickly responded. They used whatever tools they had on hand, including a fire extinguisher, to smash through the passenger side window to rescue the man inside. In under two minutes, the officers pulled the man to safety through his driver’s side door.

“That’s what we sign up for,” Kennedy said. “We come into this knowing that there’s going to be situations where we have to make those split-second decisions to be able to help somebody.”

According to West Melbourne police, all four responding officers and the victim were taken to the hospital. The driver is still recovering, and one of the officers is under observation for smoke inhalation. The other three officers have been released.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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