By Joe Holden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A SEPTA police officer is being recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.

The officer helped rescue a man trapped inside a burning car — and it was all caught on dash cam and body cam video.

Sgt. Marc Pasquarella came across a car that crashed into the back of a trash truck on North Delaware Avenue early Friday morning.

2 Injured In Crash Involving Tractor-Trailer In Evesham Township 

The sergeant says the legs of the unconscious driver were stuck under the dash, and he knew he needed to act fast. Pasquarella and a good Samaritan sprung into action.

“The female driving the trash truck said the car’s on fire, so obviously at that point, you gotta get him out,” said Pasquarella.

That’s when the seven-year veteran of SEPTA’s force said the adrenaline got going.

“I ran to go get a fire extinguisher, but then I realized this was going to waste time,” said Pasquarella.

As time passed, the sergeant knew things were only getting more dire.

He and tDr. Murtuza Jaffari started yanking on the doors.

Pasquarella was eventually able to reach a lock through a broken window, but the problems were adding up.

“I kept slipping on the engine oil, and that’s what really concerned me because the front of the car is on fire and I’m worried about that catching fire and engulfing me and the passerby,” he said.

The driver’s legs were also wedged below the dashboard, complicating things, but the sergeant persisted.

“I grabbed his legs and pulled him out,” said Pasquarella. “He came right out and then we dragged him off to the side.”


The driver was hospitalized in serious condition.

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