Driver Pulled From Burning Car

The act to save the driver was nothing short of heroic.

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011  |  Updated 9:08 AM PDT
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A man was pulled from a burning vehicle Sunday night in San Francisco. Police and other witnesses talk about it here.

A man was pulled from a burning vehicle Sunday night in San Francisco. Police and other witnesses talk about it here.

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A man who was saved from a burning vehicle in San Francisco's  South of Market neighborhood early this morning was found to have allegedly  been driving under the influence, a police spokesman said.

At about 1:30 a.m., a vehicle traveling east on Folsom Street near  12th Street went onto the center divide and struck a light pole, police  spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

Upon impact with the pole, the car burst into flames with the man  still inside it and unconscious, Esparza said.

Good Samaritans who witnessed the crash tried to get the man out  of the car, and an officer arrived soon afterward and used his knife to cut  through the seatbelt and rescue the man from the car, according to Esparza.

Firefighters arrived minutes later and extinguished the burning  car, fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

The man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and is  expected to survive. Once at the hospital, he was arrested on suspicion of  DUI and will be booked into county jail when he is medically cleared, Esparza  said.

The 36-year-old San Francisco resident's name was not being  released as of this afternoon because he had yet to be booked into jail,  Esparza said.

One of the good Samaritans also was injured during the rescue,  suffering a minor wound to his hand, according to Esparza, who lauded "the  brave witnesses and officer that jeopardized their safety to rescue this  person."
 

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