Louisiana State Trooper Saves two Women from Car before it Burst into flames

steven paulus copypng b5a1dbc4498edb11The wreck that closed the southbound lanes of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway on Friday afternoon (Feb. 19) occurred after a pickup truck crashed into a disabled vehicle about five miles from the south shore, bridge General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said. A state trooper who happened to be near the scene rescued two women from the stalled vehicle as it burst into flames. The two women, who were not identified, were taken to East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie with cuts but reportedly no burns. Their conditions were not immediately known. The police officer, identified as Steven Paulus of Troop L, may have saved the women's lives, Dufrechou said. The wreck occurred around 1:30 p.m. after a Dodge Ram pickup truck broke down. It was rear-ended by a Ford F250 pickup, causing the stalled vehicle to catch fire immediately, Dufrechou said. Paulus was traveling nearby and rushed to pull the women from the burning vehicle. "He probably saved their lives," Dufrechou said. The southbound bridge was closed while firefighters extinguished the blaze and workers cleared debris from the span. It reopened at about 2:45 pm.