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Officers Actions Avert Disaster

DICKSON CITY — This past weekend, we showed you pictures of a fiery crash on Business Route 6 in Lackawanna County. On Monday, we caught up with the police officer whose quick thinking kept a burning car from barreling down the busy road.

Police officers and firefighters in Dickson city spent a good deal of their morning dealing with a minivan on Main Street that burst into flames while it was being towed.

No one was hurt and first responders were mostly unfazed. Especially after what Patrolman John Sobieski had on his hands less than 48 hours earlier.

On Saturday afternoon, another car fire was caused by a chain reaction crash on Business Route 6.   Sobieski stopped traffic on the busy road, and then things got complicated. As the fire spread, one of the burning cars lost its transmission and started barreling down the highway.

“As it rolled down Route 6, I had to speed past the car that was on fire to get behind it to more or less crash the back of my police car into that car to get it to stop,” said Patrolman Sobieski.   

The damage to Sobieski’s police car was minor but, looking at the damage to the burning car that’s now in impound in Dickson City, Sobieski says he stands by his snap decision.

“The potential for disaster was definitely there, so I’m happy we were able to avert anyone getting hurt or anyone’s property being further damaged.”

The burning car could have collided with dozens of others that were lined up in traffic just down the hill.  

Sobieski’s actions prevented possible injuries.   The only damage was a few charred cars and a broken bumper on Sobieski’s police vehicle.

“As a police officer you have to be able to think quick and react, you can’t think about it. You just have to react and do what’s best at the time.”


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