ATLANTA - The father of a man pulled from a burning car this week is thanking officers for saving his son's life.
Hector Quiroz's son was one of two men trapped inside a car that crashed into an I-85 support column Wednesday morning. The car burst into flames and his legs were crushed. He and the driver were pinned.
Atlanta police officers were the first on the scene before firefighters. As the arrived, they grabbed fire extinguishers and other tools at their disposal to keep the fire at bay while trying to break into the car to save its occupants.
Quiroz had no idea his son had been involved in a crash until a friend knocked on his door. By that time, he was already in surgery.
"Looking at the condition that he was, we were hoping that nothing major happened to him," Quirroz said recalling the first time he saw his son after the crash.
Both of his legs were broken but he was awake and responding to him. He also didn't have any burns. Quiroz said his son doesn't remember how the crash happened.
"I'm amazed...he's lucky to be alive," he said.
"I want to say thank you from the heart for them (police) because if it wasn't for them, that car would have exploded. We wouldn't be here today."
While watching that video, Quiroz said "This is unbelievable, the work that they do just to save a person. God was with them, God was with them."
"That's how God works."
Officer Elijah McCall was the second officer to arrive on the scene, behind Officer Michal Skillman. Other officers on the scene were Derek Daniel, Andre Valentine, and Bill Brooks.
“I ran toward Officer Skillman and we traded out,” McCall said. “I handed him the fire extinguisher and he gave me his baton and I started on the window.
“Our main goal at the time was to get those guys out. We weren't really concerned about our safety at the time.”
“We all just took a window and began banging on it, knocking the windows out."
The officers appreciate the praise that’s coming their way, but say they were just doing their job, and would do the same thing tomorrow.
“I would do it all over again,” McCall said. “I couldn't work with a better crew. It's our job as first responders to do what we were supposed to do.”
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