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SJC officer recalls rescuing woman from burning car

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Two days after a St. Joseph County police officer rescued a woman from her burning car, that officer shares why he took a risk to make a daring rescue.

A 21-year-old woman was driving home from work Saturday night when she crashed on the side of the road.

Her car started burning, but she couldn't get out.

“I was getting on the bypass from State Road 2...and I was coming up to the Crumstown Highway Bridge here...and as I came by right here, I noticed a car off in the ditch. The vehicle was smoldering. You could see smoke off from it," said SJC Corporal Rodney Wisser. “I felt like if there was somebody trapped in that car, I had to get to them as fast as possible.”

So, he took the less-safe route, backing up on the shoulder right along US 20, and bolted out of his car toward the young woman in the driver's seat, 21-year-old Kaylee Murphy.

“She was kind of at this point kind of barely conscious. She was tangled up in her seat belt real good, so I had to get her out of there. At that point, once I got hold of her, the heat from the fire was getting on the windshield, and you know you had to get her out right now," said Corporal Wisser.

Luckily Corporal Wisser did, because seconds later, the car burst into flames.

“It wasn’t conventional. It wasn’t something that’s the safest thing to do, but you’ve got to make a quick decision and go for it," he said.

When ABC 57's Kylie Walker spoke with Kaylee on Sunday, she told her she owes him her life and can't wait to thank him in person.

“It’s a win. That’s what you strive for every night. You want to make sure you’re making a difference for people, and that’s a big way of doing it," said Corporal Wisser.

Kaylee and the officer agreed to let ABC 57 film their reunion, so tune in Thursday at 10&11 to watch it.


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