DIX HILLS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A mom and her two children are crediting quick-thinking on and off-duty first responders for saving their lives after their SUV lost control on the Long Island Expressway.
The Hauppauge mother of six was driving on the LIE when her vehicle flipped Saturday during a torrential downpour.
“We were literally hanging upside down from our seat belts,” said Sabrina Iovane.
That’s when Brian Bell, a volunteer EMT fresh off his shift and still in his gear, sprung into action after passing by the scene. He spotted 7-year-old Giancarlo, who had managed to wiggle out of his seat belt, screaming for help for his unconscious mom and sister trapped inside.
“I took my shears out and I cut the seat belt, freeing her from the entrapment, and we were able to bring her out through the back, and I did similar to the rear side of the window as well,” said Bell.
A Suffolk County Detective and her partner happened to see the SUV hydroplane in a puddle before flipping. With smoke coming out, they knew time was of the essence. One detective crawled into the SUV to help 15-year-old Simona, with special needs, escape without a scratch.
“She said that a woman, I don’t know who it is, laid down on top of the glass and let her crawl out on top of her so that she wouldn’t get hurt,” said Sabrina.
For Giancarlo, he’s been given a new bike for his display of bravery. The boy also says the experience has given him a new career path.
“A police officer when I grow up,” he said. “I want to help a lot of people.”
All three escaped with no serious injuries, which the responding officers say is thanks to the seat belts they were wearing.