ATHENS, GEORGIA — Newly released police body cam shows an officer rescuing a man from a burning car.
Senior officer Dan Whitney from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in Athens, Georgia, responded to a call about a burning vehicle around 3 a.m. one morning. The caller described the situation as, “this car gonna blow up, I believe.”
Arriving on the scene, Whitney found an SUV engulfed in flames against a tree. A man was yelling for help from a small rear driver-side window.
Whitney sprang into action grabbing his fire extinguisher and tried to put out the fire. Then he tried to free the man who had his head and one arm hanging out the window. First, Whitney tried to get the man to go back inside and free himself from the window, but the door frame was bent from the impact with the tree.
Finally, Whitney bent the door frame and was able to pull the man through the window. At that moment, an explosion from under the hood knocked Whitney’s hat and body cam off. The driver of the vehicle had burned to death. Without Whitney’s aid, the passenger might have as well. The backseat had melted in the heat.
Whitney has been nominated for a RISE Award, recognising officers who have gone above and beyond their call of duty.