“We got a bad wreck out here in front of my house. … This car gonna blow up, I believe. … Hurry, man, or this car gonna blow up!” This is what Senior Police Officer Dan Whitney heard when he received a 911 call at 3am of a car being engulfed in flames. What the officer did will leave anti-police silent.


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The Athens officer sped through the streets and viewed a grim scene upon arrival. The driver was unfortunately already deceased from the crash, but there was a passenger struggling to get out of the wreckage. Begging for help, the passenger looked to be in pretty bad shape. That’s when Officer Whitney sprang into action.

The officer tried to combat the fire with a fire extinguisher, but to no avail. Officer Whitney can be heard in the video yelling to the homeowner, “Get me a garden hose or another fire extinguisher!” The officer then tried the doors to get the injured passenger out before the car exploded, but the doors all were bent from the impact of the crash.


Officer Whitney then began smashing the windows out of the car with the fire extinguisher in hopes of getting the trapped passenger out. With time frantically running out and the fire spreading rapidly, the officer was finally able to get the passenger from the car.

Just as the officer pulled the man to safety, there was an explosion from under the hood that reportedly knocked the officer’s hat off and dislodged his body cam from his chest. Thankfully, backup arrived along with the fire department who were eventually able to put out the raging car fire.


The Athens Police Department acknowledged Whitney’s heroic act, “Without Whitney’s rescue, the passenger likely would have suffered the same tragic death as the driver, as the backseat was completely melted and gutted within minutes.”



About Jefferson Garfield