Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies saved a man trapped in a truck fire after an accident over the weekend. Sheriff’s spokesperson Brandon Haught says the man had been trapped in the truck after an accident Saturday morning on East New York Avenue in Deland which caused the truck to “…burst into flames….” Deputies Wesley Blum and Kenneth Shields arrived at the scene within two minutes of calls reporting the crash and fire to 911. Deputy Blum tried to pull the man out of the truck with the help of a bystander, while standing on the truck’s running board. Meanwhile, Deputy Shields emptied the fire extinguisher from his patrol car on the fire in the truck cab. However, the fire reignited. Deputy Shields then pulled on Deputy Blum’s belt, pulling Blum away from and the driver out of the vehicle, as Blum was still holding onto the driver.
According to Sgt. Kim Montes with the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver, 21-year old Robert Wayne Demonte of Deland, was transported to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach in serious condition. The FHP says an 18-year old passenger in the truck was also transported to Halifax in serious condition, after she was ejected from the truck during the accident. Another passenger received minor injuries in the crash.
Haught also notes that reports from social media sites indicate that a civilian at the accident scene “…reportedly climbed through the window to release [the driver’s] seat belt.” Haught expressed the Sheriff’s Office thanks to all parties who helped to save the driver’s life.
Deputy Blum has been with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office since June, and has served with the Army in Afghanistan. Deputy Shields has worked with the Sheriff’s Office for six years.
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