MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The officers who pulled two people from a burning car on I-94 in Minneapolis last Wednesday said they only had seconds to act.
They responded after the car flew onto the interstate near the 41st Avenue Bridge last Wednesday night, with witnesses reporting that the car was speeding down Washington Avenue before the crash.
“I told my partner that we needed to get them out now,” Officer Krystle Fallon said. “We had a very short amount of time to get them out of the car.”
The car caught fire after it landed on the highway, and the flames were beginning to spread. Fallon pulled the female passenger, identified as Lancha Robinson, out of the car and dragged her to safety.
Meanwhile, Fallon’s partner, Officer Ryan Davis, worked with other officers to free the driver, identified as Floyd Cunningham, from the vehicle. His side of the car saw the brunt of the impact.
“I knew we had about 45 seconds, the timer going off in my head to get him out before he would be on fire," Davis said. "The car would have exploded.”
People nearby ran to help the officers, even cutting the seat belts so Cunningham could be pulled from the vehicle. He later died, but their efforts likely saved Robinson's life.
“The vehicle was on fire and they knew that was going to increase. And they didn't give up,” said Sgt. John Scheneman of the Minneapolis Police Department. “They stayed with it until they got both parties out of the car.”
Cunningham's fiancé and her family also returned to the scene to thank the officers for doing what they could to save their loved one's life.
“There's no thinking involved. We just do this job to help people, to save people and to protect people,” Fallon said. “And when it comes down to it, that's your job.”
The circumstances of that crash remain under investigation by the Minnesota Highway Patrol. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.