Off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent pulls man from burning car in Farmington Hills

Posted at 12:19 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 13:28:24-04

(WXYZ) — An off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent saved a man on July 31 after noticing a vehicle fire on the side of the road in Farmington Hills.

Agent John Leslie was driving down Northwestern Highway south of 13 Mile Road and noticed the fire on the side of the road.

Leslie, who is also a trained EMT, rushed to the scene where he was told that the driver was trapped inside of the vehicle.

The passenger front door area had been destroyed by the impact with a tree. Leslie was able to crawl into the vehicle to open the rear door to try and extract the driver. Due to the vehicle's damage, he was unable to pull him through the back seat.

As the fire continued to grow in size, Leslie noticed a bowling ball in the backseat and used it as a last-ditch effort to break the driver's window and get to the driver. After several strikes, he was able to reach into the car and pry the door open to free the driver.

After prying the door open Agent Leslie, along with a passerby, rapidly extricated the victim from the vehicle mere seconds before a small explosion engulfed the vehicle. He began triage on the man until Farmington Hills Police and Fire arrived on scene and took control of the situation.

“If it weren’t for the bowling ball, I’m not sure how I would have gotten the window smashed to get the guy out," Leslie said. “That ball saved his life.”