Manassas Park

Off-Duty Officer Rescues Driver From Burning Car in Virginia

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A police officer in Northern Virginia and a good Samaritan saved the life of an unconscious driver after pulling him from a burning car.

Manassas Park Police say Lt. Dustin Walker was off duty Saturday shortly after 10 p.m. when he saw a Toyota driving the wrong way on Lomond Drive.

The Toyota struck a parked vehicle and burst into flames. The fire spread to two additional cars as well as overhead power lines.

Walker ran to save the driver in the burning car.

"You just react. I don't know that there's much of a thought process in the moment," Walker said.

Because he was off-duty, Walker didn't have his body camera rolling during the rescue.

As he got the car, good Samaritan Ardit Mahmuti also jumped in to help.

"We both started running towards the car that was on fire and, I mean, it was pretty scary," Mahmuti said.

"I grabbed him and kind of started working to get him out of the car. At that point, he kind of started coming around," Walker said.

He turned his body camera on once the driver was safe. Good Samaritan Ardit Mahmuti helped the driver while Walker called for backup.

The 51-year-old driver is facing DUI charges, but he's alive, thanks to Walker and Mahmuti.

"Just our duty. What we're required to do. Our number one goal is to protect the community and I take that seriously," Walker said.

Police said Walker pulled the unconscious driver from the Toyota. The driver later regained consciousness and refused treatment. He was charged in Prince William County with driving under the influence.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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