A North Carolina cop who was rescued by a good Samaritan after getting trapped in her burning vehicle is “lucky to have walked away,” according to authorities.
Marion Police Officer Breanna Toney was on her way to work on Jan. 31 when a pickup truck slammed into her patrol car head-on. Toney’s patrol car ignited, and she was immediately trapped, WLOS-TV reported.
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Luckily, a hero jumped into action. An individual passing by stopped, forced the passenger door open, and pulled Toney out from the inferno.
The injured cop was airlifted to a hospital where she underwent numerous surgeries on her legs. According to the Shore News Network, she also sustained broken ribs, among other upper-body injuries.
Marion Police Chief Allen Lawrence said the incident could have claimed Toney’s life if not for the brave good Samaritan who stopped to rescue her.
“Our world was turned upside down first thing Monday morning along with Breanna’s — changed her life forever,” Lawrence told WLOS-TV. “She didn’t know if she was going to get out of that car. She’s very lucky to have walked away from that.”
Toney will likely spend weeks in the hospital, and Lawrence said it would be a long time before she is back to patrolling. The police chief said the near-death experience is an essential lesson for us all.
“It’s a reminder for any of us how much life can change in an instant,” he said.
Authorities plan to recognize the unnamed “brave citizen” who saved the officer at some point in the future.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for Toney’s medical expenses and to support her family during this time. So far, just under $12,000 has been raised out of the total $25,000 goal.
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