Body cam video shows Norton officers pulling unconcious man from burning car just before explosion

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 08:15:13-05

Two Norton police officers had to act quickly to save a man trapped in a car fully engulfed in flames.

The dramatic rescue took place around 11:30 p.m. Sunday on Johnson Road.

Body camera video shows the officers pulling 60-year-old Lowell Sears to safety just in the nick of time. 

"We're gonna try to swing you out of the car, okay?" one of the officers can be heard saying. "Come on! Come on! Let's go!"

The video, from Officer Scott Seabolt's body cam, captured intense moments as the officers tried to rouse the unconscious man.

Officer Brody Fratantonio busted out a window, and the cops worked as a team to drag the 160-pound man 40 to 50 yards down the road.

Moments after they laid Sears down on the roadway, the video shows a secondary explosion in the car.

"Thank God I got there and my partner was there and we were able to get him out and make sure he wasn't in that second explosion or any of us were," Seabolt told News 5.

Police believe Sears was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he went into a ditch and the car burst into flames.

After the rescue, firefighters gave him four doses of naloxone. 

On Tuesday, Sears denied that he overdosed or was drunk.

He said he's very grateful to the officers for going into his burning car to save his life.

"They risked their own life. They do that every day and I'm glad they're there to do their job," he said.

Seabolt said the explosion-- moments after Sears was saved-- seemed like he was living a movie, but when he watches his video, it reinforces the real dangers of the job

"If you would have asked me last week if I could handle a situation like this, I would say 'yes,' but I wouldn't know what it would look like," said officer Seabolt. "Now I can actually see, 'Wow, this is what you deal with.'"

Officer Seabolt has only been on the force for one year, so he was surprised to be involved in something so dramatic so early in his career.  He downplayed the hero label and said he's just glad he saved a life.