Off-Duty North Carolina Sheriff's Deputy Pulls Crash Victim From Burning Car

GASTON COUNTY, North Carolina -- As Ryan Burrell watched smoke and flame overtake the crashed car in front of him, he said failing to act was never an option.

The off-duty Gaston County Sheriff's Office employee was in the right place at the right time early Sunday morning to pull a crash victim from a burning wreck on Peach Orchard Road north of Cramerton.

"I just kind of went for it and didn't give it a second thought," Burrell said softly Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Gaston County Jail employee had just finished an overnight shift Tuesday morning. He was tired, he said, and spoke plainly about the moments before he pulled 36-year-old Domingo Velasquez Mejia from his blazing car.