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‘Had to make sure he was OK’: Good Samaritan hailed a hero after saving officer

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    AUBURN, California (KOVR) — An Auburn police officer is recovering at home after a fiery crash near Lincoln Way and Grace Street Tuesday night – and good Samaritans in the area made sure he survived.

The Auburn Police Department hailed these good Samaritans as heroes. One of them, Jacob Estabrook, said he didn’t think twice.

“I just heard a loud bang,” Estabrook said, describing the sounds and the scene that sent him into action.

“Honestly, it was just instinct. Just something inside me. I wanted to help him,” Estabrook said.

He was one of the helpers that saved an officer stuck in his patrol car after he crashed it during a pursuit.

“When he opened the door, the officer looked really, really hurt,” Estabrook said.

Auburn police said their officer was led on a pursuit by 29-year-old Ryan Schlittenhart, who originally failed to stop at a red light – then wouldn’t pull over for police.

The officer following Schlittenhart lost control of his vehicle, crashed and was stuck inside as his car caught fire.

Estabrook, with a family of his own, knew he had to do something to help a stranger, who he knew had to be someone else’s loved one.

“He’s a human being,” Estabrook said. “I just had to make sure he was okay.”

Auburn’s Chief of Police Ryan Kinnan was thankful for Estabrook and the other man that ultimately saved his officer’s life. He also condemned the suspect’s decision.

“Not only did the officer get hurt because of it, but he could have hurt somebody else,” Chief Kinnan said, before hailing Estabrook a hero. “You know the world is a good place when you have people like Jacob.”

Estabrook, a man proving it takes no special training just to be a good person.

Schlittenhart was later caught and arrested, now facing DUI charges and a felony for evading an officer. The Auburn Police Department said their officer was treated at a local hospital, and released late Tuesday night.

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