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Officers rescue woman trapped in burning car while transporting prisoner

Charles County Corrections Officer Eric Keys, and Cpl. Phillip Norris were traveling in the area of Route 301 and Trade Zone Avenue in Bowie, Maryland when they saw that vehicle ran off the road, hit a tree and caught on fire.
Credit: PGPD

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Officers rescued a woman trapped in a burning SUV as they were transporting a prisoner in Prince George's County, Maryland.

Charles County Corrections Officer Eric Keys, a 15-year veteran of the CCDC, and Cpl. Phillip Norris, a 7-year veteran, were traveling in the area of Route 301 and Trade Zone Avenue in Bowie, Maryland when they saw that a vehicle ran off the road, hit a tree and caught on fire. 

The officers pulled over and saw a man trying to break open a window with a hammer.

Credit: CCDC

Officials say Keys quickly exited the van with a fire extinguisher while Norris stayed inside with the prisoner. 

The grass beneath the SUV and nearby trees were on fire as Keys approached it. The SUV was filled with heavy smoke and air bag dust. 

Keys instructed a bystander to use the extinguisher and spray at his feet while he broke out a window with his baton. 

Credit: PGPD

Keys was then able to unlock the doors and pull the woman out. He dragged her about 20 yards away when he noticed she was not breathing.

Keys began CPR and continued for several minutes until she began breathing on her own. 

Police said during that time, the fire grew more intense. 

With the help of other law enforcement officers and bystanders, the woman was moved further away from the SUV.

 As they began moving her, the fire engulfed the front and mid-section of the SUV causing portions to explode and expel metal and tire shrapnel at high speeds.

Keys and the bystanders protected the woman and placed her in a stable position until paramedics arrived. She was transported to a hospital and survived her injuries.

Credit: PGPD

“These officers were faced with making a quick decision. They took swift and immediate action which ultimately saved the woman’s life,” said Brandon Foster, Director of the Charles County Detention Center. 

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency comprised of more than 600 police, corrections and civilian personnel responsible for protecting more than 150,000 residents. The CCSO was accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2001 has been designated as a CALEA Gold Standard of Excellence agency since 2011. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit www.ccso.us

Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app, which can be found in the Android Store and Apple store by searching P3tips. For more information about the P3 program, click on this link: www.p3intel.com. 

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