Hero rescues man from fire at gas station on Hutchinson River Parkway in Harrison

Marcus Solis caught up with the hero who sprang into action at a Harrison gas station.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
A hero has emerged from a chain-reaction crash at a gas station in Harrison that left six people injured and created major delays on the Hutchinson River Parkway.

A driver entering a Mobil gas station on June 3 near Exit 35 around 11 a.m. slammed into another car at the gas pump. The 70-year-old Connecticut man was on the southbound side of the parkway when he experienced a diabetic emergency and tried to pull off the road. But entered the station and hit the other car.

"He was described as coming in at a high rate of speed, probably the highway speed. I don't think he came in at 100, but the speed limit on the Hutch is 50, and it seems like he tried to come in here realizing he was in some distress," said Kieran O'Leary of the Westchester County Police.

At the time, John Vescio, a state police senior investigator, was gassing up at the Mobil station. The fiery crash engulfed his unmarked department vehicle. The impact of the crash knocked the pump onto Vescio who manages to run away just as flames erupt near his legs. After assessing the situation, he returned to rescue the driver who was completely unresponsive.

"I got the door open. He was helpless," said Vescio.

Cell-phone video captured the chaos inside the station, where the fire sent thick black smoke into the air while flames consumed two vehicles.

Vescio ran back to his burning car to secure his gun, and grab a first-aid kit. Spare ammunition in his trunk never ignited.

A total of four cars were damaged, two by the fire and two by the collision. Traffic along the parkway was temporarily shut down, while fire crews tried to prevent the fire from spreading further out of control.

"We responded with five apparatus, 17 personnel. The first engine on the scene pulled a hose line and started to extinguish the active fire using foam," said Chief Richard Lyman of the White Plains Fire Department.

None of the injuries were described as life-threatening.

Related Topics:
traffic accident hutchinson river parkway gas station fire Harrison
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