VIDEO: Unconscious Man Rescued From Burning Car By Urbandale Police Officer
According to police, the 18-year-old Urbandale driver was "doing doughnuts" in a slick church parking lot Sunday night when his car crashed into the building's air conditioning unit and caught fire. The driver was knocked out by the crash.
OUTSIDE DES MOINES, IA -- In a three-minute video released Monday by police, officers can be see running to a vehicle as it catches on fire.
Urbandale police officers pulled an unconscious driver from his burning vehicle after it slammed into Urbandale Baptist Church, 6501 Aurora Ave., Sunday evening.
Community Relations Officer Randy Peterson with the Urbandale Police Department said Ian Waseskuk, 18, of Urbandale was "doing doughnuts" in his car in the church parking lot. The car crashed into the church's air conditioning unit at about 10:35 p.m., catching fire and knocking Waseskuk out.
Officer Zac McDowell was the first to arrive. McDowell made a couple of tries to enter the vehicle compartment that was full of smoke and fire before he located the unconscious driver and pulled him out of the vehicle, Peterson said.
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The video shows McDowell breaking out the passenger side window to open the door, while flames billow from the drivers side of the vehicle, climbing well above the top of the car. After groping in the smoke-filled car, McDowell drags Waseskuk out and bystanders pull him further away from the burning vehicle as the officer uses a fire exinguisher in a futile effort to fight the blaze.
Waseskuk was taken by Urbandale medics to Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines for evaluation.
The investigation showed Waseskuk was doing “doughnuts” in the parking lot and lost control, striking the air conditioning unit on the side of the church. Peterson said the mishap caused $10,000 damage to the church. Waseskuk’s 1995 Buick is a total loss.
Waseskuk will be charged with reckless driving when he is released from the hospital, Peterson said.