Patrolman hailed for ‘heroic’ rescue of crash victim

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Thanks to an act of unflinching bravery, a young traffic accident victim is alive today and a San Diego police officer is getting used to a new job description — hero.

The two men's paths fatefully crossed shortly before 9:30 Tuesday night, when the 27-year-old on-duty patrolman, Dionisio “Danny” Medina, happened on the immediate aftermath of a collision at Clairemont Drive and Balboa Avenue.

A 20-year-old motorist whose stalled Chevrolet Impala had been rear- ended by an SUV was trapped in his crumpled car, which was rapidly being covered by flames, according to police.

Medina stopped, ran over to the burning wreckage, broke out a window and pulled out the unconscious driver moments before fire fully engulfed the sedan, SDPD Officer Dino Delimitros said.

Medics took both motorists involved in the accident to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The quick-acting patrolman, a four-year member of the department assigned to the Northern Division, was treated for smoke inhalation and released later in the evening.

“He's going to be fine,” Delimitros said.

Medina will be a source of departmental pride due to his “heroic” deed, according to police spokesman Gary Hassen.

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