The speeding car had veered off the road and plunged off an overpass onto Interstate 94.
By the time two Minneapolis police officers got to the scene late Wednesday, they found the dark-colored Cadillac ATS smoldering and its two occupants trapped inside, according to police and witnesses. Minutes later, flames began shooting out from the hood.
After pulling the female passenger — identified as Lancha Robertson, 37, of Minneapolis — to safety, they struggled to free the unconscious driver, in a dramatic rescue attempt that was captured by a bystander on cellphone video.
Andy Schuur, who works at a local towing company, stopped to record the ordeal and later posted the footage to his Facebook page. By Monday morning, it had been viewed over 29,000 times and shared hundreds of times more.
The grainy 8-minute, 34-second video shows the officers, later joined by another cop and at least two passersby, yanking the driver, Floyd Cunningham, out of the car. By then the vehicle was engulfed in flames.
Bystanders can be heard cheering as the officers dragged Cunningham onto the highway shoulder, while passing motorists honked their horns.
According to police and witnesses, Cunningham was driving east on N. 41st Avenue, where it turns into Washington Avenue, just before 10 p.m. last Wednesday when the car jumped the curb and went airborne through a guardrail. The car plunged an estimated 16 feet onto the westbound lanes of Interstate 94 below, landing upright.
The officers tried to resuscitate Cunningham, 31, of Minneapolis, but he later died at a hospital. Robertson’s condition wasn’t available on Monday.
A police spokeswoman said over the weekend that she couldn’t release the officers’ names, citing department privacy rules. She said the officers all worked the overnight shift in the Fourth Precinct, which covers the city’s North Side.
Authorities said speed, but not alcohol, appears to be a factor in the crash, which is being investigated by the State Patrol.