“Everything we heard was screaming”: officers on leave, EMT save 3 victims of toll road accident
A police officer on leave, two correctional officers and an EMT rescued three victims trapped inside an SUV that overturned on the NJ Turnpike on Sunday afternoon in Newark.
Dan O’Beirne, an NJ Corrections Officer and Wood-Ridge Firefighter, was riding his motorcycle on the north side of the freeway when he noticed the crash near Newark Airport around 3:30 p.m.
Wood-Ridge officer Mark Torsiello, who drove in his personal vehicle behind him, was accompanied by EMT Walter Rogers, a Rutherford volunteer. Behind them was Chris Araujo, NJ Corrections Officer.
âWe saw Danny suddenly go from the fast lane to the slow lane, and his headphones flew off,â Rogers told Daily Voice. “We didn’t know what was going on.”
But then they saw the SUV in the embankment.
O’Beirne, Torsiello, and Aurajo all stopped before jumping out of their vehicles and heading towards the scene of the crash.
âAll we could hear was screaming,â Torsiello said, âbut no one was coming out.â
There, they found three women trapped in the backseat of the vehicle – the airbags fully deployed. At least one other victim had already extricated herself, Torsiello said.
The SUV appears to have struck a tree before tumbling down the embankment, Torsiello said.
O’Beirne – who last October rescued a semi-trailer driver from his burning vehicle – called 9-1-1 before he and the other first responders pulled the first victim out of the SUV.
One woman was bleeding, another could not move her leg.
Rogers used a first aid kit someone had at the scene to clean up and wrap the cuts on a woman’s leg.
NJ Transit Police and New Jersey State Police vehicles both arrived at the scene minutes later, Rogers said.
Running around the scene was instinctive for Torsiello.
âI did exactly what I promised to do every day,â he said. “Help others in need.”
O’Beirne felt the same.
âHelping others has always been second nature to me,â he said. “I like having the tools to do it.”
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