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News Release

Monday, May 21, 2001

Media Relations

Off-Duty Officer Saves Victims From A Burning Vehicle

"Off-Duty Officer Saves Victims from a Burning Vehicle"


Los Angeles - On Sunday, May 20, 2001, at approximately 5:15 p.m., off-duty West Traffic Division Officer Robert Rodriguez, was enroute to work on the northbound 5 Freeway at the 710 Freeway Interchange. He observed a Chevy Blazer facing southbound in the northbound #3 lane. The vehicle had been involved in a traffic collision on the 710 Freeway and had fallen from the overpass. The vehicle was on fire and there were three occupants in the vehicle. Smoke had engulfed the passenger compartment as a result of fire in the engine. Rodriguez immediately stopped his vehicle and went to the burning Blazer. He opened the passenger door, which was slightly ajar, and pulled the right front passenger out of the vehicle.

Rodriguez observed a passenger lying on the rear floorboard as he removed the right front passenger. Rodriguez returned to the burning vehicle, entered and began removing the rear passenger. Two unidentified male Hispanics assisted Rodriguez in removing the rear passenger and one Army Sergeant began administering first aid on the driver. Rodriguez remained at the scene and directed traffic until California Highway Patrol units arrived. Rodriguez identified himself to the CHP officers and gave them a business card prior to leaving the scene.

This is but another example of how Los Angeles Police Department police officers risk their lives on a daily basis. Officer Rodriguez is to be commended on his heroic action and quick response.

This press release was prepared by Officer La Donna Cissell, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.