Corrections Officers are not often given credit for their bravery on the job but one officer in Acushnet, Massachusetts is certainly being recognized for his bravery while off the clock. Rui Gouveia was in full uniform and was in his car heading to work for his shift at the state prison in Bridgewater, Massachusetts when a car sped past him, lost control, and veered off the road crashing into a tree near Acushnet. Gouveia says that the car flew about five feet into the air upon impact with the tree and landed upside down. He says that as soon as it hit the ground upside down he could see flames coming out of the engine.
The crash was so violent and horrific that Gouveia says that he was certain that no one inside could have possibly survived. Nevertheless, he pulled his vehicle to the side of the road near where the car crashed, got out, and ran to try to help the occupants. He looked inside and saw that there were three people in the car, all of them knocked unconscious. He says he thought they must be dead since it didn’t look like a survivable crash. Still, Gouveia says that his instinct kicked in immediately and he began pulling the victims out of the car one by one. When asked if he was worried about the car exploding while he was rescuing the occupants, he said that he “wasn’t worried about an explosion” but that all he was thinking about was getting the people out safely.
Residents of nearbyhouses called 911 while Gouveia was pulling the occupants from the car and he says that once he got the last one out, within what he estimates couldn’t have been more than 20 seconds, the car went up in flames. The driver of the car was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries while the other two were kept for observation overnight. Gouveia says the discipline he exercises as a corrections officer is what kept him focused on getting the people out of the burning car.