Police body camera captures officers rescuing man just before car explodes

NORTON, Ohio (WJW) -- Two police officers are being credited with saving the life of a man who was trapped in a burning car. Their actions were caught on body cam.

The officers responded Sunday night to a report that a car crashed into a ditch and was on fire on Johnson Road in Norton.

Patrolmen Scott Seabolt and Brody Fratantonio discovered that a man was trapped inside the burning vehicle and wasn't responding.

"Come on. Let go. Get out of the car; let go of the steering wheel, buddy. Come on. We're here to save you, man; we're here to save you. Come on. Let's go. Come on; come on."

The officers realized it was only a matter of time before the car would explode, so once they pulled the man from the car, they dragged him as far away as they could.

Police body camera captures man’s rescue just before car explodes
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Police body camera captures man’s rescue just before car explodes
Photo: WJW
Photo: WJW
Photo: WJW
Photo: WJW

Once they felt they were a safe distance away, they began to render aid to the victim and that's when the burning car exploded.

"Come on, just breath, relax, relax, come on. He's got a lot in him. You okay? Stay down; stay down."

According to Norton police, the driver, Lowell Sears, 60, would later admit that he used a combination of drugs and alcohol before the crash. He was treated at a hospital and released. Sears told FOX 8 News, the only thing he can say about the case is that he is grateful; he would not have survived without the quick and courageous actions of the two officers.

Police said the accident shows the danger of drinking and driving, but for officers Seabolt and Fratantonio, the only thing that mattered that night was that someone was in trouble and needed help.

"You know, that didn't even go through my mind. You know, my first mindset was, 'oh my gosh. There's someone in here; we need to get him out and we need to get away, you know. What choices he made before that did not affect anything that had to do with the situation," said Officer Seabolt.

The officers are now receiving a commendation for their courage and life-saving efforts.

Written by Jack Shea

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