Barnegat Police Officers Rescue Man from Burning Car
Barnegat–On August 31st at 10:35pm, Ptl. Nicholas Venuto, Ptl. Andrew Parsley, and Ptl. George Martin responded to serious motor vehicle accident on Route 72 near the Burlington County line.
The officers arrived on scene to find a 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue had left the roadway and crashed into trees. The vehicle was on fire, and Agnelo Pereira, 86, of Waretown was trapped in the vehicle.
Officers were unable to open the door and were forced to break out the drivers side window. Over the next minute and forty seconds, all three officers braved intense heat, flames, and smoke, while they struggled to extricate Pereira from the vehicle. Pereira appeared to have suffered a medical episode and was not only trapped in the vehicle, but was clutching the steering wheel which he refused to release.
An investigation revealed that Pereira’s vehicle first left the roadway and struck a roadside ditch near mile marker 18, damaging the front right tire. Pereira continued to drive for nearly 7 miles, as evidenced by gouge marks in the roadway from the rim of the front right tire.
Pereira was airlifted by MONOC medevac helicopter to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center with severe burns to both arms as well as shoulder and rib injuries.
Ptl.Venuto suffered smoke inhalation, and Ptl. Martin suffered 2nd degree burns to his right arm. Both officers were treated and returned to duty.