Las Vegas Officer, Tourist Detail Rescue of Man from Car on Strip — Video
Posted on: February 2, 2023, 10:42h.
Last updated on: February 2, 2023, 11:51h.
Bodycam video and photos were released this week of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officer who risked his life last Friday. He was rescuing an injured man from an enflamed car on the Strip, assisted by a tourist, with only seconds to spare.
The tourist and police officer were able to pull the motorist away from the car before a massive fireball.
Smoke was billowing from the car when officer Derek Stebbins arrived at the scene. A passerby had smashed the passenger side window in an initial effort to reach the trapped driver. It was unsuccessful.
With help from the tourist, Justin Mouser, Stebbins was able to open the passenger door. However, the unconscious motorist was leaning to the driver’s side, so they couldn’t pull him through the passenger’s side.
The tourist then was able to open the driver’s side door. The two were able to pull the injured driver from the engulfed car.
“Both worked with only seconds to spare before the vehicle went up in flames,” the LVMPD said on Twitter. “We are beyond thankful for the quick actions of our officer and the bystander for saving a life.”
Stebbins later recounted the ordeal, as reported by local TV station KLAS. Stebbins said he warned a crowd of onlookers to stay away from the vehicle, but is thankful Mouser stayed to help. Without the two of them, the situation could have ended very differently.
“If we weren’t there, I think he would have been burned in the vehicle. Would he have died? I don’t know, but I think he would have suffered severe burns just from how fast the vehicle caught fire,” Stebbins said.
Mouser was visiting Vegas from Kentucky, where he works as a barber, according to local news reports. This was his first trip to Las Vegas. He returned home this week.
The driver, identified as Alexander Jay Dawkins, 34, was injured in the accident and the ensuing car fire. He was transported to University Medical Center. Details on his injuries weren’t immediately available, though media reports said he lost consciousness during the crash.
Dawkins was charged after the accident. Counts include DUI, failure to properly maintain a travel lane or improper lane change, and owner failing to show proof of insurance, KLAS said.
Stebbins suffered smoke inhalation, but has returned to duty. Mouser was not injured.
Good Samaritan’s Account
Mouser also recounted the event to local news. He and his wife were walking on the Strip when, suddenly, they witnessed a BMW crash into a palm tree in the center partition near the Venetian.
After a couple of minutes passed and no one got out of the car, Mouser said he became increasingly concerned.
Somebody needs to look in to see what’s wrong with him,” Mouser told KVVU, a local TV station.
Mouser remembers the officer warned him and the other passersby to move away from the car. But he stayed.
“I probably should have listened to him, but I tried to help,” Mouser said.