BAYONNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — First responders in New Jersey are being hailed as heroes after saving a priest who had a medical emergency while driving.
CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas has more on the life-saving rescue.
“I was at the traffic light right here at the 30th Street Bridge making a left. As I made the left turn, I seen one vehicle smoking,” Bayonne firefighter Ed Skelly said.
On Saturday morning, a priest crashed into parked cars by 29th Street on Avenue E. Skelly called dispatch and immediately started CPR.
Officer Edward Taveras of the Bayonne Police Department was a stone’s throw away at the Bayonne Medical Center at around 10:30 a.m. Officer Michal Kucza was also close by.
“My vehicle was parked at the corner. As soon as I heard the dispatch about the incident I ran over and started assisting the driver,” Taveras said.
“We get to the scene, assess it quickly and get to work. Training kicks in and we’re ready to go,” Kucza added.
The first responders had no idea a priest was their patient. All they knew was that the man wasn’t breathing.
“We pulled him out. I had a (defibrillator), so I ran back to my vehicle, got the defib and I ran back to the driver,” Taveras said.
St. Cecilia Church in Kearny confirmed the priest’s identity as Monsignor Francis Seymour. He is expected to make a full recovery.
He’s a man of faith who many believe received a Christmas miracle.
Officer Kucza has been on the job for less than a year, and said the incident on Saturday was only his second life-saving emergency.
A sergeant with the state police was in a parked car that was hit. He was hurt, but is expected to be okay.