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Deputy pulls driver and passenger from burning vehicle

A Livingston County Sheriff’s Deputy is being hailed for his actions in helping two individuals escape from a burning vehicle.

On Monday evening, Deputy Lonnie Chapman was on patrol on Byron Road near Marr Road in Howell Township when he observed a Ford pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed. By the time Deputy Chapman was able to turn around and attempt to pull  the vehicle over, authorities say it had turned east onto Marr Road.  Deputy Chapman followed the dust trail until he found the truck crashed against a tree at the intersection of Marr and Marwood.

Deputy Lonnie Chapman

When Deputy Chapman approached the truck he observed that it was on fire and that there were two occupants inside.  He was able to remove the passenger relatively easily, however the driver was pinned in the truck with his foot being stuck underneath the dash.

Deputy Chapman was able to get into the truck and forcefully free the driver’s foot from under the dash and drag him to safety while awaiting fire and EMS.

The truck was judged to be a complete loss from the fire, which burned so intensely that the license plate completely melted.


The driver was transported to the University of Michigan Hospital with a broken ankle and other leg injuries.  Charges of reckless driving were referred to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I am confident in saying that without Deputy Chapman’s quick actions that the occupants of the vehicle would surely have died,” said Sgt. Ryan Vorheis in an email to Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy about the incident.

Murphy told GIGO News that the incident was indicative of the type of service his deputies provide day in and day out.

“I’m very proud of Deputy Chapman’s actions in this circumstance, as well as all of the responding deputies,” he said. “Just real proud of my guys.”

Deputy Chapman did sustain some cuts on his hand, but opted to treat those on his own.


Pictures provided by Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.


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