SANFORD, Fla. — An Orlando Fire lieutenant is credited with saving a Seminole County deputy seconds before his cruiser burst into flames Saturday morning.
The 33-year-old deputy was taken to Central Florida Regional, where he is stable.
Investigators said he crashed his patrol car into an overpass bridge around 10:30 a.m. near Orange Boulevard and Wayside Drive in Sanford.
Fortunately, another first responder was there to save him.
The Orlando Fire Department said a lieutenant was driving his son to a soccer game when he saw the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office deputy crash into the bridge.
Florida Highway Patrol said that at some point, the deputy’s vehicle crossed over the center line onto the southbound paved shoulder.
According to a news release, the car ignited and caught on fire after the SUV struck a bridge support.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the deputy was not on his way to a call or responding to anything when he crashed.
Orlando Firefighter Lt. Wootsen, who was off-duty, stopped his personal vehicle and pulled the deputy out of his patrol car.
Investigators said Orange Boulevard was shut down for several hours while they processed the scene.
The sheriff’s office said medical professionals have spoken with the deputy.
FHP will continue to investigate the crash and said it is unclear what caused it.
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