New Mexico State Police and Motor Transportation Department officers are being credited with the July rescue of two men trapped in a burning semi on Interstate 40 near San Jon.
State Police Capt. Jimmy Glascock said Officer Christopher Stimpson and MTD Officer Rodney Bone, pulled Mortarice Collier, the driver of the semi and the passenger, David Wallace, from the semi moments before it was engulfed in flames.
Glascock said the accident occurred at 11:52 a.m., on July 31, east of San Jon at the Port of Entry. He said the semi-tractor trailer combination had crashed into the rear of another semi-tractor box trailer.
“On impact, the right side of cab was completely crushed,” Glascock said “The force of the collision jammed the driver’s door shut pinning Mortarice Collier and Wallace inside.”
Glascock said Bone arrived first to find the truck partially engulfed in flames. Bone could not open the driver’s door so he smashed the door window and an unidentified person assisted by cutting Collier’s seatbelt. Bone was able to help Collier through the window of the truck.
“Wallace, was pinned inside the floorboard of the burning truck,” Glascock said.
Glascock said Bone climbed partially into the truck with the fire continuing to grow around him, but could not reach Wallace. He said Stimpson arrived and quickly climbed into the window, grabbed Wallace’s arm pulling as Bone pulled on Stimpson.
“Together they were able to pull Wallace from the burning truck,” Glascock said “Wallace’s clothes were smoldering as they removed him from the truck.”
Glascock said during and after the rescue, the truck tires were exploding from the fire. He said Stimpson did report a ringing and pain in his ears following the rescue.
“Officer Stimpson was treated for the pain associated with his ears and has since returned to active duty,” Glascock said.