LIVINGSTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Surrounded by trees in the suburbs of New Jersey, Lauren Feldman never really feared a live power line falling while she was driving during a storm – until it happened to her.
“As the tree was falling I noticed power lines falling,” said Feldman of Livingston, N.J.
Those live wires ended up draped across her passenger side door and in front of her SUV on South Livingston Avenue during a powerful spring thunderstorm, reports CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
Lauren’s first instinct was to get out of the car as fast as possible, but there was a stranger driving from the opposite direction who saw what was happening. He pulled over and he yelled to her to stay inside.
“I didn’t have time to think, was just a reaction,” said Good Samaritan Vaughn Stanziale.
Stanziale just happened be an off-duty PSE&G worker. He knew a dangerous field of electricity was likely surrounding the vehicle and the safest thing to do was for Lauren to stay put.
“I don’t think too many people know what to do, what not to do during storms,” said Stanziale.
At one point wires in front of her caught fire. For an hour and a half Stanziale kept Feldman calm.
This week her girls got to meet the man they credit with possibly saving their mom.
“I’m just so grateful for him — who knows if he wasn’t there what would have happened,” Feldman said.
In a region susceptible to serious storms all year long, the near disaster turned out to be a valuable learning experience that downed power lines can kill.
“If there’s even a power line on or around your car, stay in your car,” said Feldman – and call for help.