TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Dramatic body cam video from the Town of Tonawanda Thursday shows police officers trying to break into a burning SUV to save an impaired man locked inside.

Town of Tonawanda police officers Sarah Heft and Alyxander Pasquale found an SUV parked on the grass of Adams Field on Parker Boulevard around 1:45 p.m. The interior of the vehicle was quickly filling with smoke and flames while the officers worked to break the windows, first with a flashlight, then a baton, video shows.

The driver locked inside was Saverio M. Depinto, 46, of the Town of Tonawanda. Depinto eventually listened to Officer Pasquale’s command to open the door and was dragged out of the engulfed SUV to safety by Pasquale and Officer Jacob McCormick.

A witness came forward saying they saw Depinto’s vehicle speeding on Faraday Road and he didn’t stop at the stop sign at Parker Boulevard before driving through a fence, according to TOT Police.

The 46-year-old has been charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, driving while ability impaired by drugs, reckless driving and several traffic infractions.

Depinto is scheduled to appear in Town of Tonawanda Court on May 12 at 2 p.m.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Town of Tonawanda Police Department at (716) 879-6614 or the confidential tipline at (716) 879-6606.

Officers Heft, Pasquale, and McCormick are commended for their decisive actions in performance of lifesaving actions,” police said in a news release.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.