Good Samaritan who rescued HPD officer from burning car dies 2 weeks later in accident

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON -  A Southeast Houston man who neighbors say single-handedly pulled a Houston police officer from his burning patrol car has died.

Juan Carlos Salgado died in virtually the same spot where he performed his heroic deed 17 days earlier. Salgado was crossing Telephone Road near Red Robin Lane on Thursday evening around 6 p.m. when he was struck by two cars in succession.

He died at the scene.

Less than three weeks earlier, on Christmas Eve, Salgado, 41, a landscaper, pulled Houston police Officer  Alonzo Reid from a burning Chevrolet Tahoe police cruiser. Reid's partner, Officer John Daily, was seriously injured in the accident, which police say was caused by a drunken driver who fled from the scene but was later captured.

Salgado heard the accident as he was walking home and rushed toward the burning vehicle, according to his neighbors.

"How am I going to leave a person in need? We're all people," Salgado said in an interview with Channel 2 the day of the accident.

Salgado will be buried in Mexico, according to family members.

Police said that Salgado appeared to have attempted to cross the wide, dimly lit road outside of the crosswalk. Safe passage on foot is difficult in the area, residents said. Crosswalks and controlled intersections are relatively far apart.

Several streetlights do not appear to be working in the area.

The drivers involved in Thursday's accident that claimed Salgado's life were questioned at the scene and released, according to the Houston Police Department.

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