Lakewood cops act quickly to rescue driver from flaming crash
LAKEWOOD — After an SUV crashed into a Route 88 dealership and erupted in flames on Saturday, police officers raced to the scene and pulled the driver to safety.
Surveillance video, which was first posted online by the Lakewood Scoop, shows the SUV careening toward the row of trucks at Larson Ford dealership, hitting a truck and a light post.
Moments after the SUV catches fire, a township officer is seen trying to pull the driver out with another officer running toward them.
Police Capt. Greg Staffordsmith said Officer Caitlyn Kicki was on patrol about 10:55 p.m. when she saw smoke coming from the dealership's lot. She saw that the driver, later identified as Oscar Martinez Tapa, 29, of Lakewood, was unconscious and suffering from a "significant head injury," Staffordsmith said.
Damage to the door prevented her from opening it or getting a solid grip on Tapa to pull him out.
Officers Michael Grant and Daniel Spagnuolo arrived to assist and the three officers were able to pull Tapa through the driver's side window.
The three dragged Tapa farther away after noticing that the fire was touching power lines.
Tapa was flown by medical helicopter to Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Staffordsmith said the cause of the crash remains under investigation and asked any witnesses to call the Lakewood Police Department Traffic Safety Unit at 732-363-0200.
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