CHESTNUT RIDGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two members of a volunteer ambulance corps were killed in a fiery crash early Monday on the New York State Thruway in Rockland County.
It happened around 1:45 a.m. between exits 15 and 14B near Suffern.
Purple and black bunting was placed at the ambulance corps in Rockland County where the men volunteered. In keeping with tradition, both were buried this afternoon.
A long and respectful procession led the body of Moshe Herzog, 27, to Monsey Cemetery, where mourners gathered to pay their respects graveside, reported CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
Terrible loss at Faist VAC in Chestnut Ridge/Rockland County. Early morning wreck on Thruway killed two local EMS volunteers, Moshe Herzog and David Schneebalg. Faist VAC preparing to post purple and black bunting. pic.twitter.com/6TQj4PD4u4
— Tony Aiello (@AielloTV) September 21, 2020
Herzog and fellow EMT David Schneebalg, 26, were killed in a terrible wreck with a tractor trailer. Among the first responders to the scene were fellow volunteers from the Faist Ambulance Corps in Chestnut Ridge.
“Seeing something like that, it’s just horrific. When it’s your family it’s terrible,” said Chief Yaakov Rosenberg of Faist VAC.
Chopper 2 was over the scene. State police say Herzog’s SUV struck the tractor trailer while changing lanes near Exit 14B. Both vehicles went into a ditch and caught fire. From his burning SUV, Herzog radioed for help, saying calmly at first “I’m trapped, the vehicle’s on fire.
Then, as the fire grew, panic in his voice, telling the dispatcher “the whole car’s on fire! Please!”
Truck driver Luis Velazquez, 59, of Elizabeth, N.J. was rescued and is hospitalized.
Herzog and Schneebalg died at the scene.
“I remember them as dedicated, volunteering a tremendous amount of hours,” Rosenberg said. “They gave a lot to the community and unfortunately they were lost very young. Very traumatic scene.”
EMT work was a labor of love for both men, who volunteered at several ambulance corps in Rockland County, Aiello reported.
For fellow emergency medical volunteers and workers, it’s like a death in the family, losing two men who made a difference in the world.
The victims were returning to New York after spending Rosh Hashanah weeked out of state.
State police continue to investigate the circumstances of the crash.
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