New Jersey State Troopers Tom O’Connor and Christopher Warwick don’t want you to call them heroes. They say they were merely doing what any other officer would have done when they pulled an unconscious man from a burning vehicle on State Highway 42 in Gloucester Township, Camden County.
The two troopers responded to a call shortly before 11:30 p.m. Sunday for a vehicle in the grass median. When they arrived they found a Ford Fusion with smoke coming from its front wheel pressed against the metal guardrail.
Moments after the troopers arrived, the vehicle’s front end became engulfed in flames while the 53-year-old driver remained unconscious with his foot pressed on the accelerator.
“You don’t want to sit there and watch someone burn,” Trooper Warwick said. “So you’re going to do everything you can to get him out.”
Dashcam video captured the two troopers rushing to the vehicle and working to rescue the man. The troopers told NBC10 they had difficulty getting him out.
“He was wedged in the seat,” Trooper O’Connor said. “When we started tugging, we gave him some pretty hard tugs. He wasn’t moving at all right away.”
Eventually the troopers yanked the man out of the car and pulled him to safety. The driver then regained consciousness and was not seriously injured. He declined any further medical attention after he was evaluated by EMS.
Video of the rescue was posted on Facebook and the troopers have been praised for their heroic actions. They remain humble however.
“It’s nice to call us heroes but I still got to get a gallon of milk after I’ve done this,” Trooper O’Connor said. “So back to reality and the family.”