TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Dramatic video captured by a police dashboard camera shows the moment two New Jersey State Troopers arrived on a scene just in time to make an incredible roadside save.
Troopers Ruben Benavidez and James Hearne just happened to be driving through Trenton when they came across frantic parents struggling to help their son breathe after he started choking on a chicken nugget.
The family was driving on Route 129 in Trenton on Sunday afternoon when 13-year-old Julian Estrada suddenly started gasping for air.
“Right away I look at him and I see that he was choking, so my husband pulled over right away,” Julians’ mother, Maricruz Estrada, said.
The video shows the scene along the highway as Julian’s terrified parents try unsuccessfully to dislodge the food from the teen’s throat.
“When I ran up there, I get behind him, started the Heimlich,” Trooper Hearne said.
As Trooper Hearne gave Julian the Heimlich maneuver, Trooper Benavidez — with just two weeks experience — controlled traffic, spoke with dispatch and helped calm down the Estradas in Spanish.
“She was just yelling and screaming in Spanish like any mom would, and try ripping a mom off her young son that’s chocking, that’s not easy to do,” Trooper Benavidez said.
Julian was born with hydrocephalus and can’t stand, so Trooper Hearne had to hold him up off the ground while performing the Heimlich.
“The feel of it was completely different and Julian’s situation is unique, but when it comes down to it, it’s the same technique,” Trooper Hearne said.
The Estradas said if it weren’t for the troopers, Julian wouldn’t be here today.
They call Benavidez and Hearne their guardian angels.
“When the troopers come we feel that we see angels coming,” Maricruz Estrada said.
After the food was dislodged, Julian was put in his wheelchair and needed no other treatment.
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