Two Los Angeles police officers were pulled from their flaming squad car by a man with a bad back Tuesday after the car collided with a school bus while chasing a stolen pickup truck, authorities said.
There were no children on the bus.
Officers Steve Mulldorfer, 40, and Julian Almarez, 29, were rescued by Gregory Vega, 62, of Pacoima, who was driving with his 11-year-old grandson near Paxton Street and Dronfield Avenue in Pacoima when he witnessed the collision.
"I just thought I have to save them," Vega said. "I didn't think of the fire."
The bus driver, Dorothy Wilson, 20, employed by Laidlaw Transportation Co., was on the way to the Glendale and Burbank areas to pick up children taking part in a regional occupational program, said Laidlaw spokesman Ed Judson. Wilson, who was trapped in the overturned bus, was removed by Los Angeles firefighters.
The officers, Wilson and Vega were taken to nearby Holy Cross Hospital.
Mulldorfer, a 17-year-veteran, suffered a concussion and numerous broken ribs, while Almarez, a five-year veteran, suffered a concussion and bruised ribs. Both were in stable condition, police said. Wilson and Vega were both treated for minor injuries and released, authorities said.