YORBA LINDA, Calif. (KTLA) — Authorities released video footage on Monday that shows a sheriff’s deputy rescuing a man from a vehicle that was engulfed in flames.
It happened around 2:35 a.m. on Thursday, July 18, near the intersection of Bastanchury Road and Clydesdale in Yorba Linda.
Deputies who were on patrol came across a Chrysler minivan that appeared to have crashed into the curb, authorities said.
The van, which they believed may have been a taxi, was on fire.
Video captured by a dashboard camera shows the vehicle spewing smoke and flames.
The deputies quickly realized there was a man in the driver’s seat. However, he was not listening to their commands to get out of the vehicle.
When they first approached the vehicle, it appeared the man had punched the gas becasue the tires started spinning.
As the fire spread, the man started trying to light a cigarette, authorities said.
“I wasn’t prepared for what I saw,” Steifel said. “You normally expect to see people struggling to get out of the vehicle… We did not see that.
“We saw someone who was awake, knew we were there, disobeying all of our orders to exit the vehicle, when it looked like he clearly could,” Steifel said.
When the fire moved to the inside of the car, the deputies decided to take action.
Deputy Shayne Stiefel went to the car, reached through the open window and unlocked the door. He then cut the man’s seat belt with his knife and pulled him to safety.
Another deputy broke out the back window with a baton to check that nobody else was inside the van.
Right after the man was pulled out, the dashcam video shows the rest of the van engulfed in flames.
Deputies later learned that the man was having a severe reaction to a medical condition, which is why he was not responding to their commands.
His name was not immediately released. He remained in the hospital in unknown condition.