Police officers and bystanders in Lawrenceville, Georgia, came together recently to rescue a 19-year-old driver whose life hung in the balance after a potentially fatal high-speed accident during a police pursuit.
The incident unfolded on the night of September 13 along State Route 316 and was captured on video.
According to officials, a sergeant from the Lawrenceville Police Department was on patrol when he spotted a 2020 Toyota Camry speeding down State Route 316 at a staggering 120 mph.
Turning on his lights and sirens, the sergeant initiated a police chase.
However, the pursuit was short-lived as the speeding vehicle ultimately met a devastating fate, flipping over on its roof along the highway.
Sergeant Michael Peterson recounted the dramatic moment.
“It came to rest on its roof, flipped over on the side of the highway there.”
Moments later, the the officer spotted the car’s driver trapped beneath the vehicle.
“I could see there was definitely a gentleman still trapped inside the car. He had actually been ejected through the sunroof partially, and his upper body as well his head was being crushed,” Sergeant Peterson described.
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Peterson wasted no time. Body-camera footage captured him rallying those who had gathered at the scene to come to the aid of the trapped driver.
The young man’s airway was obstructed, and he was struggling to breathe.
“He can’t breathe. We’ve got to lift this car up right now!” Peterson shouted.
Bystanders and police officers immediately began to work together to rescue the driver.
Thanks to their teamwork, the 3,600-pound vehicle that was crushing the young driver was slowly lifted off his trapped body.
“He’s stuck. He’s up under the car. Pull the car up. One, two, three — come on guys. Come on y’all. We got this,” the officer urged as the group worked to free the 19-year-old.
Though their initial attempts were not successful, reinforcements soon arrived, and with combined efforts, they successfully lifted the car, allowing the trapped driver to escape.
“I truly believe he could not breathe, and if we didn’t act with swiftness, it would have been a different outcome,” Peterson reflected.
The Lawrenceville Police Department later acknowledged the heroic efforts of those involved in the rescue.
“The actions of the four officers and the good Samaritans likely saved his life,” the department said in a statement.
The driver, who suffered severe injuries in the accident, remains in the hospital receiving medical treatment.
Upon his discharge, he will face charges including speeding, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane and fleeing and eluding the police, which is a felony.
Fortunately, his three passengers escaped the accident unharmed.
Captain Salvador Ortega also expressed gratitude for the officers’ presence and quick actions.
“We are very glad that our officers were there at the right place at the right time, and this ultimately led to the driver surviving this dangerous crash,” Ortega said.