PORT ARTHUR - A Port Arthur police officer pulled a passenger from a burning pickup Friday morning as another officer used an extinguisher to help put out the flames.
Officers T. Barboza and L. Sanchez responded to a crash in the 2200 block of Jefferson Drive near Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Investigators say it appears drivers of two pickups were racing when they collided just after midnight. One of the trucks ran off the road, crashed through a fence and hit a tree. The other truck crashed through the school stadium's fence.
The truck that hit the tree was on fire when officers arrived.
"They know at some point in their career that someone else’s safety and life comes before their own," said Port Arthur Police Department Lt. Martin Blitch of his fellow officers who pulled the man from the burning truck.
The passenger and the driver were taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. The two people who were in the other truck fled the scene, but returned about an hour later. They have been questioned by police and released.
Lt. Blitch told 12News the incident is still under investigation. If it is proven that the drivers were racing, they could be charged under felony assault laws. Depending on the level of felony, they could face prison time if found guilty.
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