COLLINGSWOOD – Police officers pulled a man to safety early Saturday right after his car plunged into the Cooper River and started to sink beneath the water’s surface.
The spectacular and hard rescue, captured on video clip by an onlooker, occurred about 6:30 a.m. in Cooper River Park, in accordance to a statement from Collingswood Police Section Main Kevin Carey.
He stated Sgts. Brian DiCugno and Kenneth Jacoby and Officers Nicholas Bruns and Eric Roseboro were the initial to respond to the accident scene off northbound Route 130 close to South Park Travel.
The officers noticed the car or truck in the river “and starting to fill up with drinking water,” Carey stated.
Witnesses told police that the driver was trapped inside of the vehicle, in accordance to a movie recorded by Pastor Levi Combs III.
“He is drowning!” a person male can be heard shouting in the video.
Carey claimed officers observed the driver “frantically trying to pry his way” out of the automobile by a partly open driver’s-side window
“It quickly became obvious that the male would be not able to absolutely free himself from the sinking car or truck,” Carey reported.
He said the policemen grabbed a rope, a private flotation vest and an expandable baton from a patrol car or truck “and entered the water without the need of hesitation.”
“Oh, my goodness! Lord, make sure you!” Combs reported in the video clip as one of the officers, Jacoby, swam toward the now-largely submerged auto.
Jacoby who rescued a man after a kayak incident in the river in September 2019, climbed atop the roof of the submerged car or truck. He smashed the metal baton versus the driver’s-side window, which was beneath the water’s floor.
“You all want to pray for him ideal now, in the title of Jesus,” Combs explained to viewers of his Fb Reside video clip.
“Keep your breath, brother!” a guy shouted.
But Carey famous the driver’s-aspect window “was now uncovered to be closed, and a combination of airbag deployment and muddy water prevented Sergeant Jacoby from viewing into the car or truck.”
Jacoby was capable to split the window, but could not locate the driver.
DiCugno had joined Jacoby on top rated of the car or truck and they broke the driver’s-aspect rear window and a hatch window, “but once again ended up unable to find any occupants,” claimed the chief’s account.
Roseboro then arrived at the automobile and created a 2nd rescue attempt by the driver’s window. He found the driver and commenced to pull him out of the motor vehicle.
“Oh, thank God, thank God!” stated Combs as onlookers applauded the rescue from the shoreline.
“Whoooo!!!!” exclaimed Coombs, pastor of First Refuge Progressive Baptist Church.
All three officers “ended up able to pull the subject’s head earlier mentioned water, where he took a deep breath, confirming he was however alive,” stated Carey’s account.
The driver also instructed officers he was on your own in the vehicle.
But the officers ended up not able to completely take out the guy from the car “as he was stuck on a thing,” Carey’s account ongoing.
The fourth officer, Bruns, “then entered the drinking water and designed his way to the automobile, in which the 4 officers had been now equipped to totally get rid of” the driver.”
Police put the driver, who appeared to be a younger male, in a particular flotation device and awaited the arrival of extra initial responders, the account said.
Carey said Collingswood firefighters and EMS personnel, together with water rescue professionals, “swam the male and all the officers to the shore.”
They later on assisted in retrieving the car, which had been secured as a result of the rope to the shore.
Two of the officers — DiCugno and Jacoby — have been taken care of for lacerations at an location healthcare facility.
The driver, whose identify was not launched, “survived without significant damage,” the chief mentioned.
In a dialogue recorded through the video clip, Combs stated the motorist experienced shed regulate of his vehicle at a curve in the highway.
“He flew past me, with his arms out like waving, rushing,” the pastor mentioned. “He had to be undertaking 100 (mph).”
He praised the officers as they returned with the driver to the shore, where by first responders led him to a gurney.
“That’s Collingswood’s finest,” mentioned Combs. “You’ve bought to give it to them.”
Jim Walsh covers general public protection, financial improvement and other beats for the Courier-Write-up, Burlington County Instances and The Each day Journal.
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