(CNN/News 12 Westchester) — A terrifying scene at a New York gas station, as a crash leads to a fiery explosion at the pumps.
But a fearless off-duty police officer risked his own life to pull a badly hurt driver to safety.
In a blink of an eye, John Vescio went from being a commuter to a rescuer.
Vescio is a senior investigator with the New York state police, based in New York City.
On Tuesday, while off duty, he stopped at a Mobil station in White Plains, NY, to gas up his unmarked state police car.
Video from a security camera at the station caught what happened next.
A 69-year-old man who was driving into the station apparently blacked out, slamming into the gas pump and cars stopped there, including Vescio’s.
Even though he was bruised, that’s when John Vescio’s training and 20 years with the state police kicked in.
He pulled the driver from the car as flames began to spread, saving the man’s life.
But getting him out of the car was not easy.
“You could see the way his legs were tucked under by the seat,” Vescio said. “His seatbelt was on. He was pretty much helpless.”
Vescio has visited with the unidentified man, whom he saved. He said the man and his family are grateful for what he did.