Former Tulsa Police Officer who saved man from burning truck at Chick-fil-A has message for others

TULSA, Okla. — A former Tulsa Police officer who recently jumped into action to save an 80-year old man from a burning truck has a message about the importance of helping others, regardless of your training.

On Feb. 8, Curtis McLaughlin of Chouteau was in the drive-thru at the Chick-fil-A when he noticed smoke, and then flames, emanating from underneath the pickup truck in front of him.

“I said if there’s that much fire on the ground, there’s a lot more fire up in the engine,” McLaughlin said, “I said, ‘Tabitha, this guy’s truck’s on fire.”

McLaughlin, who was in the passenger seat, wasted no time in running to the truck and getting the driver, 80-year old John Price, out from behind the wheel.

“I noticed there was flames coming up underneath the hood of the car,” he said, “so it was getting close as far as getting inside the cab.”

McLaughlin says it was a team effort; he instructed the staff inside the restaurant to call 9-1-1 and they provided him with a fire extinguisher from the kitchen that allowed him to douse the flames until the Tulsa Fire Department arrived on scene.

The two men had a chance to meet for dinner at the Chik-fil-A after the owner, David Chen was able to identify McLaughlin as the man who jumped into action.

McLaughlin says Price thanked him and was very touched by his efforts to make sure he got out of harm’s way.

While McLaughlin won’t have to worry about paying for chicken sandwiches for a long time, he says his greatest reward came in the form of a remark his 17-year old son Jonathan made to him:

“My 17-year old son said Dad you’re a hero,” he explained, “he said you saved that man’s life.”

McLaughlin, who has just completed his training to become a nurse, says you don’t need specialized training to respond to someone in need.

In this age in which everyone wants to pull out their phones when they see something unusual occurring, McLaughlin urges them to act first.

“I don’t want to see that be more important than actually taking care of the situation and helping the person,” he explained, “first and foremost, because the footage doesn’t matter if someone actually loses their life.”

On February 8th, Curtis McLaughlin of Chouteau was in the drive-thru at the Chick-fil-A when he noticed smoke, and then flames, emanating from underneath the pickup truck in front of him.

“I said if there’s that much fire on the ground, there’s a lot more fire up in the engine,” McLaughlin said, “I said, ‘Tabitha, this guy’s truck’s on fire.”

McLaughlin, who was in the passenger seat, wasted no time in running to the truck and getting the driver, 80-year old John Price, out from behind the wheel.

“I noticed there was flames coming up underneath the hood of the car,” he said, “so it was getting close as far as getting inside the cab.”

McLaughlin says it was a team effort; he instructed the staff inside the restaurant to call 9-1-1 and they provided him with a fire extinguisher from the kitchen that allowed him to douse the flames until the Tulsa Fire Department arrived on scene.

The two men had a chance to meet for dinner at the Chik-fil-A after the owner, David Chen was able to identify McLaughlin as the man who jumped into action.

McLaughlin says Price thanked him and was very touched by his efforts to make sure he got out of harm’s way.

While McLaughlin won’t have to worry about paying for chicken sandwiches for a long time, he says his greatest reward came in the form of a remark his 17-year old son Jonathan made to him:

“My 17-year old son said Dad you’re a hero,” he explained, “he said you saved that man’s life.”

McLaughlin, who has just completed his training to become a nurse, says you don’t need specialized training to respond to someone in need.

In this age in which everyone wants to pull out their phones when they see something unusual occurring, McLaughlin urges them to act first.

“I don’t want to see that be more important than actually taking care of the situation and helping the person,” he explained, “first and foremost, because the footage doesn’t matter if someone actually loses their life.”