Two New Jersey state troopers pulled a trucker to safety just seconds before his burning tractor-trailer exploded, the AP reports. Trooper Robert Tarleton had stopped a vehicle on Interstate 287 on Monday when he saw the truck become engulfed in flames after it hit a guardrail and bridge abutment, state police said. "He immediately returned the driver’s credentials and ran back to his troop car to request for fire and emergency medical services personnel to respond to the crash," state police said. Tarleton drove to the scene of the crash, where State Police Lt. Edward Ryer, who was headed home from work, was trying to rescue the driver.
Police body camera video showed the two troopers worked together to drag the trucker from the cab to safety seconds before it exploded. The driver, 63-year-old Ron Hickman, sustained minor injuries. His family—including his wife, three children, and five grandchildren—thanked the troopers for saving his life, NBC 10 reports. "Thank you for being the heroes you are," they wrote. "Our family still has a husband, a father, and papa because of you." Relatives say Hickman had a medical emergency moments before the crash. "This is, although an abnormal circumstance, it's our job," says Tarleton, who graduated from the police academy nine months ago. (Read more rescue stories.)