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Police officer and good Samaritans rescue woman, child in Rome from burning SUV

ROME, Ga. — The crash was loud.

Rome Police Officer Dow Turrentine had been working a traffic stop Wednesday morning at U.S. 411 and Mathis Road, but now he had a more urgent call.

Get to a burning SUV.

“I noticed it had flames coming out of the hood of the car, so my main priority was getting whoever was in there out,” Turrentine said.

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Inside the SUV were a mother and her 4-year-old son.

First, he grabbed his pocket knife and jabbed the glass, then he bashed the window in with his baton. In the backseat, the child was screaming.

“Please don’t let it blow up. That’s what’s going through my mind. And please let everybody be okay,” Turrentine told Channel 2′s Bryan Mims.

By then, Chris Jones and his co-workers from Source Electrical Contractors had run across the highway to do whatever they could – and they had hammers.

“And I just ripped the window out,” Jones said.

He pulled the child from the car and Officer Evan Roden held him in his arms until the boy’s dad arrived. He was not seriously hurt.

“Petrified, just screaming, very upset,” Jones said of the 4-year-old. “I’m sure it was very traumatic for him. He just had a little bump on his head.”

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Then, Jones and his co-workers, along with Turrentine, freed the mother and carried her to a patrol car to wait for an ambulance. She underwent knee surgery and was still in the hospital Friday. Since the crash, Jones spoke by phone with the mother.

“You think about your wife and kids and if something like that were to happen,” said Jones, who has two teenage daughters. “It was a good conversation. She was beyond grateful and just kept thanking me.”

“Everybody’s been texting me or calling me and saying I was a hero, but I don’t see it that way,” Turrentine told Channel 2 Action News. “That’s part of the job, there’s no sense in shying away from it. Just go straight and do it.”

For Jones, the rescue took an emotional toll, and he’s shed a few tears.

“I’m just a good ol’ country boy and that’s what we do,” Jones said. “We help people out.”

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