Two quick-thinking New Jersey state troopers pulled a man from a fiery tractor-trailer this week just seconds before it exploded, dramatic video shows.
The footage shows Trooper Robert Tarleton conducting an unrelated traffic stop Monday afternoon on northbound Interstate 287 in Bridgewater Township when he heard a big rig slam into a guardrail nearby and immediately becoming engulfed in flames.
“You’re good!” Tarleton told the driver. “Get out of here!”
Tarleton raced to his police SUV and requested emergency backup from fire and paramedic officials as he sped to the crash site, video shows.
“Truck’s on fire, driver’s inside,” Tarleton frantically told a dispatcher.
The trooper then jumped out of his SUV and sprinted toward the burning tractor-trailer, where State Police Lt. Edward Ryer, who was driving home from work, was trying to pull the truck driver from his cab, video shows.
“Go! Go!” Tarleton screamed. “You gotta go! We gotta go!”
The two troopers proceeded to pull the driver from the tractor-trailer just moments before it went up in flames, the footage shows.
The unidentified driver, who only had minor injuries, was taken to Morristown Medical Center for evaluation. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, authorities said.
State police, meanwhile, praised the troopers for courageous actions in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“Their quick and decisive actions are a credit to the division and exemplify our core values of honor, duty, fidelity,” the law enforcement agency wrote.
One person who said they saw the dramatic explosion believes the troopers saved the truck driver’s life.
“As a 30+ year veteran of a volunteer fire department I have seen some awful scenes on the highway in this area,” one man wrote. “This was one of the worst. But for the bravery of these fine troopers and human beings, the outcome would [have] been completely different. May God Bless you.”
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