Two New Jersey State Troopers displayed a true act of heroism on Monday when they helped pull a man from a burning tractor-trailer mere seconds before it burst into flames.
As body cam footage captured Trooper Robert Tarleton conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 287, a crash can be heard in the distance. Tarleton sprung into action, returning to his car to report the accident, and drive towards the site of the crash.
"I heard the truck hit the guardrail and at that point I looked up and I saw the truck crash," Tarleton said, per KWQC. "And I knew that... somebody could be hurt over there."
When Tarleton arrived, fellow Trooper Lt. Edward Ryer was trying to move the driver to safety. "Within a second the cab burst into flames," Ryer recalled, per CBS New York. "Initially, when I saw it hit the bridge I knew it was going to be a bad accident and then when I saw the flames I knew it went from bad to worse."
Tarleton made it to the scene in the nick of time because as the two were pulling the driver out of harm's way, an explosion can be heard on the body cam video.
The driver, Ron Hickman, 63, is back home in Ohio, resting after sustaining only minor injuries. "Just said that he felt dizzy and lightheaded and the only other thing he remembered was waking up next to the officer on the road," Hickman’s daughter, Tabitha Finnegan, said. His family said he had a medical emergency moments before the crash.
Tarleton, who is only nine months removed from the academy, felt like he was simply doing his job while Ryer was grateful to be in the right place at the right time.