RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ (PIX11) — A New Jersey man is thankful to be alive after three quick-thinking officers pulled him from his burning vehicle.
The dramatic rescue happened in Ridgefield Park over the weekend and was all captured on body cam video. Ridgefield Park police officers responded to the scene of a burning Honda Accord engulfed along Route 46 just before 2 a.m. this past Saturday.
Christopher Vagnone, a 55-year-old Fort Lee resident, was trapped inside. The officers struggled to pull him out from the passenger side window, the video showed.
“Our assumption is that the battery went and that was the reason for the electronic failure so we weren’t able to unlock the doors, lower the windows, move the seats, so it made our job a lot more difficult,” Sgt. Nicholas Triano, the first officer to respond, told PIX11.
He said he knew he had seconds to jump into action.
“I pulled a halligan bar out of the trunk of my vehicle and I just ended up, we just smashed all the windows out of the car,” he said.
Body cam video shows how sergeant Triano, along with Officers Anthony D’Elia and Nicholas D’Alto, worked together amid the shooting flames to pull out the man. Sergeant Triano says if they had waited any longer, the driver wouldn’t have been able to walk away to tell his story.
“This is something that you know, you may not experience in a 30-year career, so having been a part of it and it being a successful job at the end of the day is one of the highlights of my career no doubt about it,” he explained.
What’s even more shocking to learn – the driver walked away unscathed and refused medical attention at the scene.