SAN ANTONIO -- A 27-year veteran police officer is being called a hero after he rescued two teens from a burning car over the weekend.
The accident happened early Saturday morning as Sergeant Jesse Garcia was riding his motorcycle home. Monday, Sgt. Garcia received a special award from the San Antonio Police Department.
"The fact of the matter is that Sgt. Garcia is a hero in every since of the word," said San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus.
Sgt. Garcia was riding home from his shift early Saturday morning. He said he was on Sulfur Springs Road near Loop 1604 when he spotted a car on fire in the distance.
"Never in my mind did I think that there would be people inside the vehicle," Sgt. Garcia told us. "And I heard her saying that 'I don't want to die this way. I don't want to die. So don't leave me.' So, I just grabbed her."
Sgt. Garcia pulled the 17-year-old and 19-year-old to safety, placing his hands and head in the burning car to get a hold of them.
"I felt it when it cracked, and it caught on fire," explained Sgt. Garcia. "I could hear it, and I said it was just gonna get bad."
Others came out to help too. Sgt. Garcia said it was an unbelievable site.
"I felt like a UFO had just landed," said Sgt. Garcia. "It was such a surprise. I mean, you're shocked. I mean, I teach over at SAC, and one of the things I tell them is that you never realize how surprised you can be. You have to train your mind to work beyond the surpriseness."
The two teens are recovering at a local hospital. Sgt. Garcia is also recovering and says he hopes to return to the force very soon.