Apr 11, 2022

Heroic police officers pull elderly couple from burning car in WA

Heroic police officers pull elderly couple from burning car in WA

Bodycam footage released by WA Police has captured the dramatic rescue of an elderly couple who were pulled from a burning car by police officers moments before the car exploded.

The couple had been driving along the South Western Highway in the town of Harvey when the driver lost control of his vehicle, which was towing a caravan. The car then began to roll before coming to a stop and catching fire while the couple remained trapped inside.

Senior constable Kylie James and probationary constable Reece Josemans were the first to arrive on the scene and realised they only had seconds to remove the couple before the car would explode.

“As we just [came] around a bend, we noticed the vehicle had crashed and there was a bit of smoke coming from the front of it,” Mr Josemans said.

“It wasn’t until we got out of the vehicle and I heard a lady yelling, saying, ‘Help, help, there are two people trapped inside.’ That’s when we went running over.”

Footage recently released by WA Police shows the heartstopping moment when police manage to cut the seatbelt of the elderly female passenger and drag her to safety, before returning to help free the elderly man while flames on the car continued to grow in intensity. 

It was later revealed that the flaming car was carrying over 120 litres of petrol and that the caravan contained two large gas bottles. 

Moments after the couple were dragged to safety, the flaming wreckage exploded.

“Something that we both talk about today and you know always goes through your head is the fact that the car exploded after,” Mr Josemans said. “It makes you think we only had a minute.”

Following the crash, the couple was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Footage of the incident has seen the officers involved hailed as heroes by members of the general public and their colleagues.

“I want to mention Reece Josemans and Kylie James from Harvey police station as well as Joe Dainty and Wayne Byram,” said South West superintendent Geoff Stewart.

“Those four coppers did an amazing, amazing job. It was an amazing effort by everyone, particularly the coppers who put themselves at risk.”

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