‘My training just kicked in’: Harper Woods public safety officer rescues man from burning car

Video shows dramatic rescue

Harper Woods Public Safety officer pulls man from burning car on I-94
Harper Woods Public Safety officer pulls man from burning car on I-94

HARPER WOODS, Mich. – Dramatic video shows a public safety officer from Harper Woods putting himself in danger to rescue a man from a burning car on I-94.

The officer, Luke Pauley, said before he arrived he didn’t know anyone was trapped in the car. Pauley was responding to a call that a car had rolled over on I-94 at Moross and was on fire.

“As soon as I got out of my scout car there were a bunch of bystanders telling me someone was trapped,” Pauley said. “My training just kicked in.”

Bystanders can be heard in the audio on the officer’s body camera telling him that the driver was trapped in the car.

“Somehow he made it into the passenger seat,” Pauley said. “It looked like he was trying to get himself ... I reached my hand in ... I was able to unlock the door, pulled him to safety.”

The dramatic rescue was recorded on camera. Pauley pulled the 23-year-old driver out and officer Daniel McCaw jumped in to help. The driver was in and out of consciousness throughout the rescue.

Read: WB I-94 to reopen in Detroit, Dearborn; eastbound lanes remain closed for repairs

About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.