By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
A quick-acting Parks Dept. patrol captain in Local 983 rescued two injured women trapped in a Jeep that flipped over in a three-car collision in the Bronx.
“The Jeep was smoking and gas was leaking from the vehicle,” said Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer Capt. Domingo Sanchez, who was traveling along the Bronx River Parkway when he came upon the three-car pileup, which occurred as the first major snowstorm of the season hit New York City. “I saw that the last car, a smaller vehicle, rear-ended the Jeep and flipped it over. The Jeep just hit the car traveling in front. I got out to see how I could help when I found two women trapped inside the flipped vehicle.”
Racing against time, Sanchez climbed onto the Jeep to pull the passenger to safety.
“The driver was complaining that her neck was hurt and she couldn’t move,” Sanchez explained. “I told her, ‘Lady you’ve got to get out! Grab my arm so I can help you.’ I saw that gas was leaking from her Jeep and a fire could erupt at any moment. The vehicle was smoking. I pulled her by the arms to safety.”
Sanchez diverted traffic around the accident and radioed for help.
Sanchez began administering First Aid to the injured driver, who collapsed on the sidewalk as he waited for assistance from the Police and the Fire departments. Help arrived about 20 minutes later.
“To be honest, there was no time to think about it. I just reacted,” Sanchez said of his heroic rescue. “Being on the job for 20 years, you know that if you think, you will question yourself. I just reacted and did what I am trained to do — get people out of danger.”
Afterwards, Sanchez returned to his post at Ranaqua, the Parks Dept. headquarters in the Bronx, and filed an incident report.
“I’m no hero,” Sanchez said humbly. “I’m just glad I was in the right place at the right time. I took this job because I enjoy helping others.”
“Captain Sanchez is to be commended for his bravery. He went above and beyond to respond to this accident and no doubt saved lives,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. “No matter the danger to themselves, our dedicated members never quit helping keep others safe.”
The DC 37 Blog is an official online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 public employees who work in New York City and surrounding areas.