Officer Jayson Waggoner, 30, was back on duty Wednesday despite being treated for a mild case of smoke inhalation, while the victim, 37-year-old Christopher Myers, remained in fair condition at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
The incident began about 6 p.m. Tuesday when Waggoner, a three-year veteran of KPD, was dispatched to an alarm call at the TVA Credit Union off Tillery Drive. When he arrived, the bank manager told him that she was about to close the bank when the alarm went off and she then noticed a 2000 Infiniti speed off from behind the bank, jump a curb and plunge down a wooded embankment.
Waggoner said he followed the car's tracks and found the vehicle trapped between two trees on the slope.
"The car was on fire," Waggoner said. "I tried to pull him out, but the tree was too big. I got a fire extinguisher, but that didn't work - the flames got too heavy, too hot, too fast."
Waggoner broke out the rear window and helped Myers to safety. "The whole car went into flames as soon as he got out," the officer said.
Both men were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center after the incident. Waggoner was treated and released, but Myers was still listed in fair condition Wednesday, police said.
Waggoner said it didn't appear that Myers' had anything to do with the alarm going off. "The bank manager said the alarm went off as a fluke," he said. "She just said the car was suspicious because it took off and jumped the curb."
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