Deputies save woman trapped in burning car
At approximately 10:45 A.M., the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Dispatch received a call of a crash at the intersection of Oslo Road and 66th Avenue. A small car traveling south on 66th Avenue turned out in front of a septic tanker truck, causing a collision between the two and a third refuse flatbed truck. The collision between the car and the septic truck immediately ignited into fire, causing both vehicles to be engulfed in flames.
Indian River County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Sunkel was first on scene and quickly learned from witnesses that a female was trapped in the vehicle. Deputy Sunkel broke the window of the car with his baton and opened the passenger side door trying to free the female. She was trapped in the vehicle by her seat belt, steering wheel, and airbag. Deputy Sunkel made attempts to pull her out but was unsuccessful. Deputy Linda Nolan arrived on scene and began using her fire extinguisher to reduce the flames. The fire extinguisher made little difference as the vehicle continued to burn. Together, Deputies Sunkel and Nolan were able to pull the woman out of the vehicle and get her to safety. The entire incident was captured on Deputy Sunkel’s dash camera.
Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar stated, “We are so proud of Deputies Sunkel and Nolan for their life saving efforts earlier this morning. Video of the incident shows that despite danger to themselves, they continued to work to save this woman from her burning car.” Deputy Linda Nolan sustained burns to her hand which were treated on scene and then at Indian River Medical Center. The woman pulled from the car was airlifted from the scene and her current status is unknown. Florida Highway Patrol responded and is investigating the cause of the crash.