SILVERSTREET, SC (WIS) - An Army Reserve soldier pulled a Newberry County deputy out of his burning patrol car Wednesday morning after authorities say the deputy ran off the road and slammed into a tree.
Deputy Christopher Irons was patrolling near the intersection of Highway 34 and 121 near Silverstreet around 8:15am, when Sheriff Lee Foster says something caused Irons to run off the side of the road and slam head-on into a tree.
"The car was beginning to burn, and in fact the fire had started to come up through the floorboards," said Sheriff Lee Foster.
Foster said Deputy Christopher Irons hurt his legs in the crash, which Foster believes kept Irons from being able to escape the patrol car that sat at the bottom of this embankment surrounded by shattered glass and twisted metal.
An Army reservist driving in the area saw the wreck, and was able to pull Irons to safety. Irons was taken to Palmetto Richland Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Foster said he is still unsure as to what caused Irons to run off the road, but said the heavily-traveled thoroughfare sees its share of big rigs and a high population of deer, which may have played a part in the crash.
Foster says Irons was on duty at the time of the accident, but was not responding to a call. Irons is an eight-year veteran of the Newberry County Sheriff's Office.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. The cause of the wreck has not been determined.