Officer burned trying to pull victim from fiery wreck

February 22, 2011 4:51:30 PM PST
A police officer is in the hospital with second degree burns after trying to pull an accident victim from a burning car Tuesday afternoon on the Southwest Freeway. Police say a 73-year-old man was driving his Cadillac when it had a mechanical problem and the man pulled over to the left shoulder of the Southwest Freeway near Newcastle. A woman driving a red Ford Escape came up behind him, and tried to avoid hitting the Cadillac, but ended up striking the car. The car burst into flames.

Houston Police Lt. Harry Zamora happened to be on the freeway and stopped to help. He and others rescued the elderly driver from the burning car. The driver was taken to Hermann hospital, with burns over half of his body.

Lt. Zamora and the woman were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital to be evaluated.

Houston police say they don't yet know why the woman hit the Cadillac, or whether the vehicle was completely pulled onto the shoulder.

The fiery wreck caused major backups on the Southwest Freeway.