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Body cam footage shows Florida deputies rescue woman from fiery crash

Pasco body cam crash PSCO.png
Posted at 9:13 AM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 11:48:19-05

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — The Pasco County Sheriff's Office released incredible body camera footage on Friday that showed deputies racing to rescue a woman from a fiery December car crash.

According to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened on Dec. 29 just before 12:30 a.m. local time.

The crash report said that a 30-year-old woman from Spring Hill, Florida, was driving an Infiniti the wrong way on northbound Suncoast Parkway when she crashed into another car.

The report said troopers suspected that the woman was impaired. Officials conducted a blood test, and FHP says toxicology results and any possible charges are pending.

After the impact, the report said the Infiniti crashed into the guardrail. According to the sheriff's office, the vehicle caught fire, and the woman was trapped inside.

Deputy Justin Keene, Cpl. James Dominguez, Sgt. Tyler Croker and Deputy Josh Yanzer of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office arrived before fire officials. They used three fire extinguishers in an attempt to smother the flames. Each time, the flames returned.

Yanzer's body-worn camera captured him running up to the burning vehicle.

"Once the fire extinguisher ran out, we saw flames still encroaching on the vehicle," Yanzer said. "Didn't really know what to do at the time, just knew that I couldn't freeze."

Yanzer was able to bend the driver-side door so the deputies could pull the driver to safety.

"Our sole purpose is to get this lady to safety, so that's our primary focus. Thankfully, he was able to get that door bent down a little bit which opened up a bigger window for us to pull her from," Croker said.

"I think the most intense part was the smoke. Every time we go into the car to pull her out, it was more the smoke, not the flames, that pulled us back," Keene said.

Warning: This video contains graphic images and explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.

The driver, who is not being identified as she isn't facing charges at this time, was taken to Bayonet Point Hospital with "incapacitating" injuries. Her current condition is not known.

The second driver, a 30-year-old man from Spring Hill, was also taken to Bayonet Point Hospital. His injuries were listed as "not incapacitating" in the crash report.

The second driver told troopers while he was in the hospital that he was driving northbound at the time of the crash. According to the report, he saw headlights directly in front of him right before impact.

The sheriff's office said it was sharing the dramatic video to "show the dangers our deputies face each shift."

"We're proud of their selfless efforts to ensure the driver made it out of the car alive," the statement said.

This story was originally published by Emily McCain and Julie Salomone on Scripps station WFTS in Tampa, Florida.