PELHAM, NH (CBS) — The Captain of the Pelham Police Department in New Hampshire said they have rescued plenty of people from burning vehicles, but Monday’s rescue was the first time in his 21 years that anyone has ever resisted help.

A 911 call for a car crashed into a tree on Windham Road came in to police just before midnight. They said the car was on fire and the driver was still inside.

When police arrived, they told 53-year-old Michael Hines, of Derry, to get out of his 2000 Infiniti. According to police, he refused.

Captain Stephen Toom explained, “He’s not getting out of the way, this is now putting us in jeopardy. We have to get him out.”

Police dash cam video shows how two police officers had to drag Hines from his car to safety.

Pelham crash, car fire. (Photo credit: Pelham Police)

Observing signs of impairment, responding officers reported conducting field sobriety tests.

Hines was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence.

“He said a few times that he was a mechanic, and I don’t know what he meant by that, if he thought he could fix the car,” said Toom.

Michael Hines accused of DUI after Pelham, NH crash (WBZ-TV)

Hines returned to the scene of the crash Tuesday evening to take pictures. He also said he was innocent. “I was wrongly accused and I’m going to provide the facts to prove it,” he told WBZ-TV.

Hines’ explanation for the crash was he “was tired and pulled over.”

Toom said, regardless, it was a close call because the car was engulfed thirty seconds after police had gotten Hines out.

A burned car that Pelham Police rescued a man from just before it was fully engulfed Monday night (WBZ-TV)

“Our job is to get people out of harm’s way at all costs and that’s what these two officers did, it was a great job,” he added.

Hines was charged with driving under the influence, cocaine possession, disorderly conduct, and  transporting drugs in his car.


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