Atlantic City officers help rescue motorist from burning car
Photos by Sumon Majumder
An Atlantic City police officer was hospitalized after he helped pull a man from a burning car following a crash Thursday afternoon on Route 40. Several witnesses reported seeing Roberto Salazar driving erratically just before his car rear-ended another vehicle heading east on Route 40 at about 12:30 p.m., Sgt. Kevin Fair said. Salazar’s car struck a pole just outside the police compound off Route 40, just after Atlantic City High School, and caught fire. Several motorists along Off-duty Officers Syed Shah and Sumon Majumder tried to get Salazar out of the car, but his leg was trapped. Officer Anthony Casale, who was working at the time, arrived at the scene and used his baton to break the passenger window and unlock the doors, Fair said. Salazar’s seatbelt had to be cut off before he could be pulled from the car, according to the report. In the meantime, another motorist put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. Casale and Salazar, 37, of Pleasantville, were taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. Neither’s injuries were considered serious. An 86-year-old man and 87-year-old woman from Cherry Hill were in the other vehicle. They were not injured and refused treatment. The Atlantic City Fire Department, Atlantic City Electric and South Jersey Transportation Authority assisted at the scene. The Police Department thanked “the brave citizens who assisted us in removing Salazar from his burning vehicle,” Fair said. The accident is being investigated by Officer Ivan Lopez. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 609-347-5788. Information may also be texted anonymously to tip411 (847411) beginning the text with ACPD.