State troopers recognized for heroic actions after rescuing truck driver from burning rig

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A pair of New Jersey state troopers are being hailed as heroes after they pulled a trucker from his burning rig Monday on Interstate 287 in Bridgewater.

News 12 had an opportunity to talk with Trooper Robert Tarleton and Lt. Edward Ryer about the dramatic rescue. The troopers said that they were in the right place, at the right time.

RELATED: WATCH: State troopers rescue truck driver moments before vehicle explodes 

Trooper Tarleton was in the middle of a traffic stop with another vehicle on I-287 when he saw the truck driver lose control and hit a guardrail. Trooper Ryer was on his way home from work and rushed over to help. The two pulled the man out of the cab of the truck and got him to safety seconds before the truck exploded.

“The only thought - because I saw the truck crash - I knew that he was not out of the truck yet. So, even with all the rest we have to deal with later, right now just have to get that guy out of the truck,” says Trooper Robert Tarleton.

“I wasn’t really thinking about that it was going to blow up,” says Lt. Ryer. “I actually saw it make the impact because I was traveling on the outer roadway and I knew it was going to be a bad accident and within a second it went from bad to worse when it burst into flames.”

Both troopers say they were very happy to see the other on the scene, knowing teamwork would be the fastest and safest way to get the driver away from the vehicle.

The truck driver sustained minor injuries and is expected to be OK.

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