A policeman on leave from Stockton is called a hero after he rushes into a burning car and rescues two people inside.
Officer Mark Afanasav and his wife were on their way to a suburb of Sacramento on Saturday night. Stopped at a traffic light, Afanasev told Sacramento TV station KCRA he heard a crash and squeak noise, then saw two cars in a heavy collision near Sunrise Boulevard and Douglas Road in Rancho Cordova. . The officer said he then saw one of the vehicles overturn, the other hit a light pole and burst into a fireball. Video of the collision and what happened after it was caught on a dash cam that Afanasev had mounted in his car.
Although not on duty, Afanasev said his natural instincts and training began immediately. Afanasev said: “I realized I had to go and help them because no one else was there.” The video shows the officer driving towards the scene of the accident, jump out of his car and run into the flames, disappearing behind the wall of fire. “The only thing I could think of was that there were people in that car. I have to help them out. I can’t let them burn in this car. I have to do something.
As his wife yells at him to be careful, Afanasev pulled a victim from the burning vehicle as a man with his legs on fire ran through the wall of flames. “The female, I helped her and the two to get away from the car. They were both screaming and they were both on fire.
Afanasev later said: “I felt that God put me in this position for a specific reason. It’s something that is part of me to help someone, especially in something like that where I’m the only one there to help them. God forbid if they’d been unconscious or something and had to be out of the car. “
When asked if he considers himself a hero, the Stockton constable replied, “Not really. I mean all the law enforcement officers I know, all the firefighters, all the paramedics would have done exactly the same thing as me.
Although both victims survived, KCRA reports that their burns were considered serious.