Driver saved from burning auto

KEARNY —  

A motorist caught in a burning car beneath a tractor trailer on the Belleville Pike last Thursday night was rescued thanks to the courageous efforts of quick-thinking, quick-acting Kearny police officers, who put their own lives at risk to save his.

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-12-58-38-pmAuthorities said  the KPD responded to a 9:30 p.m., Oct. 13, report of a car fire on the Pike, east of Schuyler Ave., and arrived to find a Chevy Impala ablaze, its front end stuck under the rear of the trailer and its driver trapped inside. 

Officer Michael Alvarez used his baton to smash the car window, and then Officer Victor Girdwood and Sgt. Glen Reed pulled the motorist to safety as Officer Esteban Gonzalez was dousing the flames with a fire extinguisher. 

Authorities said the 53-foot trailer was empty of cargo, however underneath it — along with the burning car — was a 100 lb. propane tank.

The Kearny Fire Department had also responded and kept the tank cool with water so it would not explode while they extricated the car and completely extinguished the blaze, Fire Chief Steve Dyl said.

According to police, the motorist — identified as Samuel Sapey-Adablah, 51, of Irvington — had apparently suffered some type of medical emergency while driving and crashed into the back of the truck. The impact forced the entire front end of the Impala under the trailer, igniting the car’s engine. 

When he was rescued by the officers, police described Sapey-Adablah as conscious but disoriented. He reportedly did not suffer any burns.

The victim was taken to University Hospital in Newark for treatment.

Karen Zautyk | Observer Correspondent