MANCHESTER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A dramatic rescue was caught on a police dashboard camera in Manchester Township after a dump truck overturned, burying a car carrying two women with rocks.
As officers arrived on the scene in Whiting on Monday afternoon, good Samaritans worked frantically to free those inside the car.
The dump truck’s load smashed the roof of the sedan onto the 24-year-old driver, Andrea Penna, and a passenger inside, police said. They suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, rescuers used shovels, rakes and their hands to dig the women out.
“When we got there, I think there was a correction officer that was actually driving by at the time, and he was pulling the driver of the truck out,” said Ed Otreba, who heard the crash from inside his home. “We had no idea that the car was actually underneath the truck.”
Police say Penna was making a left turn off of Route 539 South onto Harry Wright Boulevard and the dump truck was driving northbound on 539 when they collided.
Manchester police Patrolman Ian Bole was next on the scene.
“I can hear her voice inside,” he said. “She was obviously very afraid, and we just reassured her that everything was going to be OK, (that) we’re going to get her out.”
The men first saw 22-year-old Kaitlyn McCabe in the passenger seat.
“She was terrified. She was screaming,” Otreba said. “The correction officer broke the window.”
Meanwhile, time was ticking for Penna.
“I kept shoveling until I was able to find her hair to her head, and at that point, I used my hands to be able to uncover the gravel to find her face, which was covered in blood,” Bole said.
Otreba could not believe someone could survive an accident like that.
“We’re thankful that everyone survived, especially Andrea, because the position she was in, it took a while to get her out,” he said.
“It was a miracle that she’s OK,” Bole said.
Penna was brought to the hospital with minor injuries.
Her mom told CBS2 her daughter is still in shock from the accident and too upset to speak, but the family wanted to thank everyone who responded so quickly to rescue her.
It’s not clear what caused the accident.