DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Broken bricks and shattered window panes mark the spot where a man crashed into a building in the West End area of Dallas early Wednesday morning.
Police said the suspected drunk driver was speeding down Ross Avenue, when he reached a dead end at Houston Street. Rather than stop, officers said he continued straight ahead, striking a brick column and breaking the front window of an architecture firm.
The crash caused the vehicle to catch fire while the driver was still inside.
“It’s just in my nature to run towards fire. I couldn’t not get involved in something like that,” said Matt Oldham, who was working private security across the street.
“The vehicle was on fire, the gentleman was pinned inside,” he added.
Oldham said two Dallas police bicycle officers broke the car window with a baton to reach the driver.
“He was somewhat folded up underneath the steering column. He was not wearing a seat belt,” he said.
Video shot by Robert McMurrey, a photographer living in the apartment complex across the street, shows Oldham and the two officers pulling the driver out of the burning vehicle.
“You could feel the heat, for sure. We had some soot on our uniforms and other ash,” said Oldham. “We pulled him back as far back from the scene as we could.”
As a member of the Texas Army National Guard, Oldham said he’s trained to respond to critical situations and that he immediately started assessing the man’s injuries – two broken arms and gashes to his head and leg.
“I had a tourniquet on my person. I knew what to do,” said Oldham, who applied the tourniquet to the man’s leg to stop heavy bleeding. “He probably would have bled out without a tourniquet on his leg.”
Oldham said it wasn’t until later that the seriousness of the situation sank in. He said he’s glad he was in the right place at the right time to help.
“You just have to imagine that this guy has a family too and they probably want to see him again,” he said.
Dallas police said the driver was taken to Methodist Central Hospital to be treated for multiple injuries and will be booked into jail upon his release on a charge of driving while intoxicated.