Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement
Off Duty Officer Dubbed "Hero"
Story by: Amanda Hara
News 25 - Evansville, IN
HENDERSON - A fiery crash almost killed a man last week in Marshall County, Kentucky, near Paducah. Now, Lieutenant Kevin Rogers with Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement is being called a hero.
Rogers said, "I knew it was a truck cause I knew I just passed it but all I could see was a big ball of flames, it was like a movie."
It was an unscripted movie, with Lt. Rogers cast as the unintentional hero. And the work he does at the weigh station in Henderson helped him play the role.
Rogers said, "I'm here to help others whether I'm on duty or off duty."
During a trip towards Paducah on I-24, Rogers said he was 100 feet away as a tanker slammed into the back of a utility truck. The tanker was lined with flammable latex residue.
Rogers said, "I can remember the bridge shaking and a very loud thump. I looked in the rear view mirror and I saw a big ball of flames coming at me."
But there's more to this story than a fiery accident, there's a life involved, the man driving the tanker that Rogers may very well have saved.
He said, "My first thought when I saw him collapse was that he needs to be moved, he would have burnt up if he hadn't have been moved."
Then another explosion rocked Rogers into reality.
He said, "I could feel the heat from the second explosion as we were dragging him away."
With an act of heroism, a man was saved and if someone was directing, Rogers said it must have been God.
He said, "I believe the good Lord puts us in the right place at the right time for the right reason. If a person doesn't believe in God, this will sure make them do it."
The victim was Joseph Lacewell of Mayfield, Kentucky. Rogers said he had injuries to his pelvis and femur. NEWS 25 spoke with Lacewell's father, he told us his son is still in the hospital recovering from the injuries.