California officer’s bodycam video shows harrowing rescue of woman from burning car


DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) – A California police officer recalled the tense moments before rescuing a woman from a burning car on Saturday.

Davis Police Cpl. Pheng Ly’s body camera video shows him pulling a helpless woman out of her burning vehicle.

“I heard on the scanner through the CHP channel that there was an overturned vehicle, which was on fire,” Ly told KTXL. 

Ly said the closest California Highway Patrol officer was at least 30 minutes away at the jail in Fairfield. Ly was just a couple of minutes away, so he rushed to the scene. Ly is shown in the video grabbing the woman by her wrists and pulling her out.

“It also dawned upon me that this lady’s survival was dependent upon my actions and my actions alone. So, she was depending on me to save her,” Ly said. “And I realized that this was a very dire situation and something needed to happen right away.” 

The woman, who was not seriously injured, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

No one at the police department was aware of Ly’s heroics until a supervisor viewed the video.

“That’s just the kind of guy that he is. I mean, he does this, he truly has a deep heart and love for it, and I’m not surprised at all,” said Davis Police Department Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov.

Doroshov said Ly will likely receive a life-saving award for his actions.

“Had she not been out of there within moments, that car’s fully engulfed, I believe she would’ve been deceased,” Doroshov said. 

“It was just something that I was there to do, and I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time,” Ly said. “I think it was of a higher calling, for sure.”

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