MONTEREY (CBS SF) — A California Highway Patrol officer sprang into action to save two women and two small children from a burning car in Monterey Monday.
The Monterey Herald reported that the CHP officer happened to be driving behind a vehicle on southbound Highway 1 when when it began burning.
Herald photographer Vern Fisher was behind both the car and the CHP cruiser and captured the incident on video. “I was behind the CHP when all of a sudden I just saw an explosion of smoke and flames,” Fisher told the Herald.
Fisher also told the Herald the car didn’t immediately stop after pulling off the freeway and he saw flaming pieces of the car dropping onto the roadway before it finally stopped in the parking lot of a hotel on Munras Ave.
In the video he shot, the officer can seen be pulling the children out the the back seat while yelling at a passenger who had already exited the smoking car, leaving the two children behind. “Here take your kid! What are you doing! C’mon!” the officer is heard to say.
The youngest of the two children was coughing and crying after being pulled from the car.
The driver also had to be urged by the officer to move quickly out of the car. “Come here! Your car’s on fire!” the officer is heard yelling at the driver. It appeared as if the driver-side door could not be opened and the driver exited from the passenger-side door.
A CHP spokesman told the Herald all four occupants were treated for smoke inhalation and taken to the hospital as a precaution.