Deputy saves Orion Twp. man, 18, from burning car

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Orion Township – An 18-year-old township man is lucky to be alive after an Oakland County sheriff’s deputy pulled him out of a burning, overturned car after a chase Sunday.

Prior to the rescue, the man was spotted speeding near Baldwin and Brown Road about 2:30 a.m. by a deputy who made a U-turn and attempted to catch up with the speeding 2007 Chrysler 300.

On northbound Baldwin, the man attempted to turn left onto Maybee Road, lost control on the gravel road and drove into a wooded area, where the vehicle flipped over on its driver’s side.

The vehicle quickly caught fire but the deputy, identified as a 26-year police veteran, broke out the glass sunroof with a police baton and pulled the 6-foot, 2-inch, 240-pound man out. Deputies detected the smell of marijuana from the man and the vehicle.

Arriving paramedics treated the man for a possible broken leg and lacerations as firefighters put out the car fire.

“This is a reminder of the types of incidents our deputies can encounter each and every day,” said Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “While our deputy had been in pursuit of this speeding suspect, it was their first instinct to risk their own lives to save this individual from a burning vehicle. If not for the quick action of our deputies, this individual may have not survived this incident.”

The driver was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and fleeing and eluding a police officer. He was taken to a hospital for medical treatment and deputies obtained a search warrant to take a sample of his blood for testing.

He has been treated and released from custody pending further investigation, blood results and criminal charges.

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