PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– A Prince George County Police offer is being praised after rescuing a woman from her vehicle just minutes before it caught on fire.
On Tuesday January 19th, Officer Raleigh Fields, has been a left home 10 minutes early to get gas. Officer Fields has been a volunteer police officer with the department for the last 28 years.
That evening, he came around the curve on the 9900 block of Prince George Drive and noticed smoke coming from a car in the tree line. Fields stopped and screamed if anyone could hear him and received no answer. He then tried again. When he got closer, he heard something.
According the Prince George Police Department, a 31-year-old woman had run off the right side of the road, struck several trees and sustained heavy damage. The woman was trapped in the vehicle.
“I said, ‘Are you hurt?’ She said yes,” Fields said.
The woman told Fields that her chest and neck hurt, which made him think the air bag hit her.
“I said, ‘What about everything else?’ She answered, it’s smoking,” Fields said. “I said ‘I know it is. Don’t worry we’re going to get out. Everything will be alright.”
He said the door to the car was jammed. Once Fields got the door open, the car started sparking and a tiny fire began on the passenger side.
Fields said he asked the woman to try to maneuver her legs in order to help him pull her out. The officer then pulled her out of the car and put her in the backseat of another woman’s car that had previously stopped to help.
Fields told 8news, he returned to the car to salvage the woman’s phone but could not find it. Instead, he grabbed a blanket for her because she was only wearing a thin layer of clothing.
“I said ‘Look we need to move these vehicles,” Fields recounted. “I said, ‘You need to move yours back and I’m going to move my car ahead because this thing’s going to blow up.”
Minutes later the car burst into flames.
He attributed his quick reaction to his training, saying that it was best to stay calm.
“Anyone would have done the same being in that situation,” Fields said. “I was there for a reason. I was sent there at that time.”
Chief Early wrote a statement on the Prince George County Police Department’s Facebook page:
Raleigh never passes by a citizen in need of help. He may have a little age on him, but he is still a strong fella with a great hear. Right person, right place, right time. We are proud to have him on our team.Cheif Early
The woman was taken to Southside Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.
Being a Police Officer is a calling to many individuals. Auxiliary Officer Raleigh Fields exemplifies the very meaning of this statement. Officer Fields has been a volunteer Police Officer with our Department for the past 28 years. We could not be more proud to have him among our ranks and standing beside us.Prince George Police Department