Mesquite PD officers save man from burning vehicle

Two Mesquite police officers saved a man from a burning car early Sunday.

Officers Ryan Nielson and Autumn Soto arrived at the scene of a one vehicle crash on the service road of Interstate 30 and Edgebrook Drive about 4:10 a.m. Sunday.

Police dashcam video released by Mesquite police showed the SUV already on fire when officers got to the wreck.

The lone person inside the vehicle was unconscious while the car was burning.

The two officers were able to pull the man out of the car, even with part of his clothing on fire, and drag him safely away from the burning vehicle.

The victim, Hector Valles, 25, of Mesquite, was taken to Baylor Hospital of Dallas with burns and internal injuries. As of Monday afternoon he remained in ICU.

"We would like to thank the Mesquite police officers and witnesses whose heroic efforts saved our son," said mother Olivia Valles in a statement. "Hector is strong. He is a fighter. We are thankful to the Lord that he is here, he is recovering and is in good hands."

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Soto has worked for Mesquite police for eight years and Nielson has been on the force for four years.

They were humble Monday about their lifesaving actions.

"I can't say that this particular situation has happened all the time, but I think it was just another day at work for us," said Nielson. "It was 4 o'clock in the morning and we were getting ready to go to lunch. It's just another day."

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"Anybody at this police department would do the same exact thing," said Soto. "We were just there in the right position to get on the service road and help."

Hector Valles' father says what the officers did is far more than heroic. He says it's a miracle  from God that they arrived so quickly.

Valles' older brother, Oswaldo, says Valles' leg is badly burned and he's had multiple surgeries for internal injuries, but Valles opened his eyes Monday for the first time.

To the officers, words don't capture a brother's gratitude, because he knows what could have been.

"If it wasn't for them, he wouldn't be in the hospital," said Oswaldo. "We should be at the funeral. Thanks to them, he's still breathing."

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