Shocking video footage captured the moment a rookie California police officer was seen pulling an unconscious man from a burning car off the side of a highway.
Officer Pedro Garcia approached the burning vehicle after he noticed it while driving down Highway 101 on Sunday afternoon.
He was seen fearlessly dragging the male driver, who hasn’t been named, out of its drivers seat.
The heat of the blaze was so ferocious that it had melted the driver’s shoes to the footwell of the silver sedan, meaning he faced almost certain death were it not for Garcia’s quick-thinking heroism.
San Jose Police Department said the vehicle had been involved in a collision on the famous freeway moments beforehand.
The video was recorded from the back of an emergency vehicle that was approaching behind the blaze, and captured Garcia’s heroism in vivid detail.
Video footage captured the moment a rookie police officer was seen pulling an unconscious man from a burning car off the side of a California highway
San Jose Police Department Officer Pedro Garcia was driving down Highway 101 when he noticed the burning vehicle and sprung into action
Garcia was told by two witnesses that the man in the vehicle was passed out behind the wheel.
‘Some guys were yelling’, Garcia told KRON. ‘I asked them if, ‘Is there someone inside the vehicle?’ they responded with ‘yes’ so I just immediately ran towards the vehicle.
‘Kinda saw the person, I was in shock and then I just decided to try to yank him out of the vehicle and drag him towards fire department.’
After calling for emergency services, Garcia did not hesitate and sprang into action at that exact moment.
Garcia said that two men told him that someone was unconscious at the wheel of the burning car
He managed to yank the victim out of the vehicle even his shoes were melted into the car
The unnamed victim was then taken to a hospital for his injuries
Despite the fact the victim’s shoes were melted to the car, Garcia still managed to pull him to safety.
‘I just believe I was in the right place at the right time,’ Officer Garcia said.
‘I know any other of my partners or anyone in the department would’ve done the same exact thing.
‘Speaking to the fire department, they said if I would not have done that, it could’ve been life threatening for him.’
The San Jose Police Department commended Garcia, who had only been on the job for eight months, for his bravery.
Firefighters are seen hosing down the flames of the crashed vehicle
‘Without hesitation, and even with fire department personnel moments away, the officer did not hesitate to risk his life and pull the man from the burning car,’ the department tweeted.
‘In this job, seconds count and, combined with bravery, can save lives.’
SPJD Chief Anthony Mata also added: ‘His dedication, not only to his work, but to his community is amazing.
‘He’s from San Jose, born and raised here. He is the ultimate of what we expect of our officers to give back to our community and that’s what he did.’
The victim, who was taken to a nearby hospital for his injuries, has Garcia to thank after he was pulled to safety from a possible near-death experience.
Further updates on his condition have not been shared
‘I just hope he’s okay,’ Garcia said. ‘I’m glad I was there and I’m just glad it worked out well and I would not have changed it. If this were to occur again, I would’ve done the same exact thing again.’
The reason for the fire and the cause of the man’s unconsciousness is still unclear.