Two Pelham, New Hampshire police officers are being credited with pulling a man from a burning car.
But that driver says he didn’t need to be saved.
“The fact is I was over tired,” said driver Michael Hines of Derry. “And I pulled over to rest so I that I wouldn’t cause harm to anybody else. I’m not entirely sure why my car caught fire.”
A witness called police to report Hines was on the side of Windham Road and was refusing help.
When Pelham officers arrived, they say Hines refused to budge even though smoke was starting to appear from the vehicle.
“It could have been tragic,” said Pelham Police Captain Stephen Toom. “If he wasn’t getting out of that vehicle, it is less than a minute that the vehicle is fully involved in fire.”
The officers—Adam Thistle and Bruce Vieira—knew they didn’t have much time so they opened the door and pulled the driver out, dragging him away from the car which was quickly engulfed.
Police say Hines had crashed into a tree.
But he tells us he pulled over intentionally.
“I believe I had food poisoning from a restaurant that I ate at earlier in the night,” said Hines.
Hines says, while grateful to police, he didn’t refuse to get out of the car and didn’t need any help.
“I asked them to give me a second, let me find my phone, and they took it the wrong way,” said Hines. “And they tried to pull me out of the car.”
Hines says he’s a mechanic and knew how to handle the situation.
“I had an extinguisher in my car,” said Hines. “I was prepared to deal with it…I wasn’t scared in any way.”
Hines is facing several charges including DUI and possession of cocaine.
Hines told us he didn’t have any drugs.