TERRELL, Texas — A Terrell native, an off-duty Arlington Police Department officer, pulled two people from fiery crash on Friday morning in Grand Prairie while on his way to work.
Sergeant Michael Chitty, a Terrell native, Terrell High School graduate, and the son of 422nd District Court Judge B. Michael Chitty, was traveling westbound on Interstate 20 when police say an intoxicated driver collided with a highway barrier and then struck a 2003 Chevrolet Express van.
The crash occurred just after 5 a.m. on westbound Interstate 30 west of Loop 12.
Police say after the intoxicated man, driving a 2004 Lincoln Aviator, struck the van, the van overturned and caught on fire. The van was occupied by four people, two of which were unsecured and became entrapped in the wreckage.
Sergeant Chitty helped rescue the trapped occupants from the engulfed van. Meanwhile, police say the intoxicated driver fled the scene on foot.
“Sgt. Chitty was driving to work early this morning from Dallas when he saw a horrific crash occur in front of him," stated Arlington Police Department Chief Will Johnson on Twitter. "He did what @ArlingtonPD officers do - he jumped out of his personal car to help the occupants of a van which was on fire to safety."
Chitty, in a statement to inForney.com, echoed the chief's remarks, "I just did what anyone else would have done in that situation."
The occupants of the van, ranging in age from 17 to 19 years old, and all of Garland, Texas, were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Three of the four injured persons have since been released from the hospital, according to the Grand Prairie Police Department.
The driver of the Aviator, identified by police as 23-year-old Jesus Gutierrez, was arrested at approximately 6:45 a.m. near the intersection of Singleton Boulevard and Sea Harbor Drive in Dallas. Gutierrez has been charged with one count of hit and run, four counts of failure to stop and render aid, one count of public intoxication, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond has been set at $135,000.