Published: November 19, 2015
ACCOUNT COURTESY OF COLLEGE STATION POLICE:
On November 14, 2015 at 5:27 AM College Station Police officers were dispatched to the scene of a major accident in the 800 Block of George Bush Drive. Officer Patricia Marty was the first emergency personnel on scene. When she arrived Officer Marty saw Texas A&M Transportation Services employees Joel Luce and Greg Stuenkel attempting to extract the driver from the wrecked vehicle.
Within seconds of Marty arriving the vehicle caught fire. She immediately ran to her patrol car, retrieved a fire extinguisher and attempted to put the fire out. Marty emptied her extinguisher and was able to diminish the flames long enough for her to attempt to extract the driver.
It was obvious that the 21 year old male driver had serious injuries to his lower extremities so she wanted to be as careful as possible, but was pressed for time due to the potential of the vehicle catching fire again. Marty, with the help of Joel Luce and Greg Stuenkel attempted to pry the driver’s door open but it was wedged shut due to damage from striking the tree.
Marty believed it would be easier on the driver with his injuries to remove him from the back window by reclining the seat back. It was at that time that Greg Stuenkel retrieved a sledge hammer from his vehicle and used it to break the back window.
However, before Marty’s plan could be executed the vehicle ignited again and flames were quickly visible from the hood and underneath the car. This is when Joe Bessner, a senior at the University of North Texas that had stopped at the accident began to help with efforts to extract the driver.
Marty, in fear for the driver’s life decided he should be removed through the driver side window immediately. Marty, with the help of Joel Luce, Greg Stuenkel and Joe Bessner removed the driver through the window and drug him to safety.
From the time that Marty arrived at 5:30AM to the time the driver was extracted took just four minutes.
The College Station Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. They also transported the driver, who was identified as Jose Izquierdo to the College Station Medical Center where he was treated, then flown by helicopter to Houston for specialized care.
He suffered from several broken bones but is in stable condition. It was said on scene that if it had not been for Marty’s quick thinking in using her fire extinguisher to diminish the flames when she first arrived the results could have been deadly for Mr. Izquierdo.
Officer Marty gave most of the credit to Joel Luce and Greg Stuenkel, who were taking action even before her arrival. She also said the two men, along with Joe Bessner provided much needed muscle and courage to a dangerous situation. It was through the collective effort of these four individuals that a life was saved.