Off-duty Redwood City officer rescues teens from fiery car crash on I-80 near Truckee

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- "It all unfolded within 60 seconds of my arrival."

That split second decision by Redwood City Police Officer Matt Cydzik saved the lives of two teenagers who found themselves badly hurt after a fiery car crash on Interstate 80 near Donner Pass in Truckee area.

A teenage boy who is believed to have been at the wheel crawled out of the wrecked car, a 2017 Maserati Levante.

A teenage girl managed to get out of the car, but she collapsed dangerously close to the fire.

"We had to pull her away and get her to a safe distance because at that point, the car was not doing well at that point. There were things that were blowing up in the background and we needed to get her to a safe distance so she would be okay," Cydzik said.

He dragged her to safety before fire consumed the rest of the wreckage. Bystanders also helped.

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Cydzik says it was almost as if everyone knew what role they had to do.

"It's a high traffic area. There are trucks and semis coming down the we started working without even communicating," he said.

The CHP says the teens were 14 and 15 years old and were not old enough to drive.

Somehow, they stole and then crashed the luxury SUV.

Investigators say speed was a factor - the vehicle was driving at 100 miles an hour when they lost control and slammed into a guard rail.

On-duty or off, Cydzik says there's only one reaction when someone needs help.

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"Anybody who wears a uniform and who's in law enforcement would have done the same thing. It's one of those things we are trained to do. And you can't turn it off. If someone needs help we are there to help them," Cydzik said.

The CHP says the teenagers suffered "major injuries" and were flown to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment.

They're from the Lake Tahoe Area.

The Maserati belonged to the girl's father - taken at night without dad's permission.
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