ISLIP TERRACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County police and a good Samaritan rescued three people from a burning car in Islip Terrace early Saturday morning.
Police said Jon Moser, 27, of Shirley, was intoxicated when he crashed his 2008 Nissan sedan carrying two other passengers into a concrete divider on the Craig B. Gariepy Avenue and Sunrise Highway North Service road at around 3:36 a.m.
Suffolk County Police Officers John Farrell and Mark Lanzia, along with other officers and a good Samaritan, managed to pull the unconscious Moser and passengers John Alver, 21, of Mastic, and Richard Weaver, 24, from the vehicle, which police said caught fire after the crash.
“They’re very lucky,” Farrell said.
“We actually witnessed the accident, put it over the radio. The highway patrol officers came and took the first two victims out, along with the good Samaritan, and we proceeded to take the third victim out of the rear seat,” Lanzia told CBS2’s Jessica Borg.
Police said the unidentified Good Samaritan was on his way to work when he stopped and sprang into action to help the young men.
“He did a tremendous job. His actions, you can’t put a price on that,” Farrell said.
Moser, Alver and Weaver were taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police say Moser was charged with Driving While Intoxicated.
This was the second time in February the quick-thinking actions of Suffolk County police and good Samaritans helped save lives.
On February 1, flames engulfed a car on the Long Island Expressway near Ronkonkoma after the driver collided with a truck. An off-duty highway patrol officer, an off-duty Elmont firefighter and good Samaritans rescued the woman in the nick of time.
Farrell and Lanzia, with a combined 55 years of experience on the job, said the instinct to save lives is in their blood, and they’re grateful the accident wasn’t much worse.
“It’s always satisfying when it has a good ending to it,” Lanzia said.