‘There was no time to think’: Atlanta officers reflect on saving man from burning car

ATLANTA — When two Atlanta police officers pulled up to the corner of Oliver Street and North Avenue in northwest Atlanta on Tuesday and saw a man trapped inside a burning car, they did not hesitate to do what they had to do to save him.

Police told Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes that the driver was traveling on North Avenue when he had some type of medical emergency, hit the curb, went into the woods airborne and through two houses. One house wasn’t occupied, but one had a man sleeping inside.

Miraculously, no one else was injured in the accident.

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Officers Willy Adams and Marcus Todd were first on the scene.

“I jumped out. There was no time to think about whether the vehicle was running or not, we had to get him out,” Adams said.

Adams used his baton to break out the back window.

“I had to break the window out just in case the car could become fully engulfed,” Adams said. “We had another way of exiting the male out the vehicle. We ran back around, managed to move his leg around a little. We started pulling some more and we were able to get the male out. It was a scary situation, after all that we were thinking, ‘What would’ve happened if the vehicle blew up?’ and stuff like that.”


“We didn’t think. We just acted,” Todd said.

“That day we will never forget about, Nov. 14. We’ll never forget about actually saving somebody’s life,” Adams said.

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The victim survived and said that while police get a bad rep sometimes, in this case they’re heroes.

“We’re not all the same. You have good apples, and you have bad apples, and we’re definitely two of the good ones,” Todd said.