WASHINGTON, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - A teenager who police say was driving in circles in a snowy church parking lot in Urbandale, Iowa was recovering from injuries and facing charges on Tuesday after a fiery accident and dramatic rescue that was recorded on a police dashboard video camera.
When Officer Zac McDowell arrived on the scene of a vehicle fire at Urbandale Baptist Church Sunday night, he found “smoke from the floor board to the roof of the car… enough to take your breath away,” he told The Des Moines Register.
Police said the driver, 18-year-old Ian Waseskuk lost control of the car, striking an air conditioning unit on the side of the church, igniting the car on fire.
There was so much smoke that at first look McDowell didn’t see anyone inside the car, he said, but “when I peeked in a second time, I just saw a hand.”
With flames leaping from the front of the car, McDowell – an Iraq war veteran and Iowa Soldier of the Year in 2006 – used a baton to break the passenger’s window.
The three minute video starts with McDowell driving up to the scene and shows how he gained entry into the vehicle and was able to drag the unconscious driver to safety as the car burned. A student doing a police ride-along and a nearby neighbor also helped.
Waseskuk, was listed in serious but stable condition Tuesday at Mercy Medical Center.
A police spokesman tells RIA Novosti Waseskuk will be charged with reckless driving.
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