LANDOVER, Md. (WJLA) – A 70-year-old man was killed Monday in a single-vehicle crash in Prince George’s County, and a 21-year veteran of the Prince George’s County Police Department was hurt trying to save him.
The crash occurred at Martin Luther King Highway and Whitfield Chapel Road a little after 1 p.m. The vehicle involved in the crash caught fire, and its occupant, 70-year-old Rodwell McNeill Jr. of Glenarden, was trapped inside.
Prince George’s Police Corporal Ron Owens saw the smoke and responded. Running to help, he was the third officer to arrive on scene.
â€œI saw three people. It was two officers, one was a civilian, trying to break the windshield out and actually pull the guy out of the car,â€ Owens said.
Owens attempted to join the other officers in saving the trapped victim inside the SUV. But he and the other officers canâ€™t save him.
â€œWe had to back off. The one officer he had burns on his arms, his hands was all cut up, he had burns to his face just from the heat,â€ Owens recalled.
In video from Owens’ cruiser camera, you can see a plain clothes police lieutenant clearly in pain. Another officer poured water onto his burned hands.
The lieutenant suffered burns to his face and hands trying to save the victim.
“I’m grateful to them. I know they tried. I know they tried,” said Polly Young, McNeill’s mother-in-law. “They are heroes.”
She says her family knows the officers did all they could.
“He was a good man, he was a Christian man, he was a good husband,” Young said of her son-in-law.