According to WTOP, a car traveling southbound along the St. Charles Parkway in La Plata, Maryland left the road just before midnight on September 2. Just off the parkway, the car struck a tree and immediately burst into flames. One woman was ejected from the vehicle, and the injured driver was pulled out by a quick-thinking witness before first responders arrived, but another woman and two young children were trapped in the burning wreckage.
Video captured by a responding officer's dashcam was released to the public by the Charles County, MD Sheriff's Office on September 9. The dramatic footage shows Corporal Brad Saunders arriving on scene first and charging into the fire with a hand-held fire extinguisher. Close on his heels were Officers Justin Bottdorf and Lamar Hamilton who assisted firefighters in extracting the people trapped in the burning car.
The vehicle's occupants survived the crash, but they all suffered serious injuries. The adults were rushed to Medstar Washington with numerous serious injuries including broken bones and second and third degree burns. The children, who were in car seats, were rushed to a nearby children's hospital. Police are looking into whether the children were properly secured in the car seats at the time of the crash.
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, and Charles County officials are encouraging any witnesses to contact the Charles County Sheriff's Office if they have any information on the incident.