POSTED: Friday, September 2, 2011 - 1:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 2, 2011 - 1:31pm
NBC National News — A dramatic rescue unfolded on camera Wednesday morning as a pair of Kansas sheriff's deputies risked their lives to pull a driver out of his burning truck seconds before the cab became engulfed in flames.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff's deputies met with members of the media Thursday after saving the life of a 65-year-old driver stuck in his burning truck.
"I had three thoughts in my head: we have to save him, he's going to die, or all three of us were going to die," said Deputy Joe Page. "That's all I could think about."
Deputy Page and Deputy Tom Delgado are being hailed as heroes after the two braved a cloud of toxic smoke and stinging flames to free a 65-year-old driver from his truck just seconds before the entire cab was engulfed in flames.
"I kept telling him, 'Your truck's on fire, your truck's on fire. Get out,'" said Deputy Delgado. "I'm trying to reach in and pull him out. He won't let go of the steering wheel."
"This guy's going to wind up taking somebody else out," said witness Kendal Ewing. "He's all over the road."
Ewing called 911 after seeing the driver strike two cars Wednesday morning before crashing into a guardrail and bursting into flames.
"They risked their lives to save the life of that guy in the truck, there's no doubt about that," said Ewing.
Both deputies were treated for smoke inhalation.
They say the smoke was so thick they could barely see the driver inside the truck.
They knew they had to do something as flames started to fill the cab.
"I couldn't live with myself to watch this man burn up in this vehicle right in front of me," said Deputy Delgado. "There's no way I could live with myself."
The sheriff says it's just a matter of filling out the paperwork before both deputies are honored for putting their safety at risk to save a life.
The 65-year-old driver pulled from the truck is in good condition at Via Christi on St. Francis.
Police believe low blood sugar is the reason behind his erratic behavior.