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State Trooper Credited With Saving Man After White Plains Gas Station Explosion

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Dramatic video released Friday shows a fiery crash and a daring rescue at a Westchester County gas station earlier this week.

The car slammed into a gas pump at the Mobil station on the Hutchinson River Parkway in White Plains around 11 a.m. Tuesday, New York State Police said. The video showed a man running away just in time as the pump went up in flames, and coming back to rescue the driver who hit the pump.

That man was New York State Police Troop NYC Senior Investigator John A. Vescio, who was fueling up at the time, state police said.

He was outside his vehicle when he saw the car entering the service area at a high rate of speed. The Toyota Camry slammed into an Acura on the opposite side of the pump and then hit the pump itself, state police said.

The pump landed on Vescio, but he escaped in time.

Although he was injured, Vescio went to the 69-year-old driver of the Toyota, who was incoherent, and pulled him to safety. Investigators believe the driver was in diabetic shock.

Vescio directed others away from the fire, and asked a bystander to help move the man away from the scene. He also asked people to stay back since he had ammunition in the trunk of his own car, state police said.

The state police vehicle and the equipment in the trunk were damaged, but the ammunition and weapon in the vehicle were not compromised, state police said.

"Despite Senior Investigator Vescio's own injuries, he remained focused and committed to saving the life of the operator of that Toyota," state police Capt. Dominick L. Chiumento, who was at the scene, said in a news release. "If not for his swift response, the situation could have turned much worse."

Vescio was treated and released from a local hospital, and the other man was taken to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.

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