MONROE TWP, NJ – A Monroe police officer saved the life of a driver entrapped in an overturned vehicle that caught fire after a crash on Pergola Avenue.
On Thanksgiving night at approximately 8:38 pm, Monroe Township first responders were dispatched to Pergola Avenue near the intersection with Namsan Dr. for a report of an overturned vehicle in the middle of the roadway, fully engulfed in flames, and the driver was trapped inside the vehicle.
Officer Douglas Perrone arrived on the scene minutes later and attempted to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher. Officer Perrone then put his own life at risk and climbed inside of the burning vehicle and was able to pull the driver from the vehicle.
At this time Monroe Twp. Volunteer Fire Company #1 Deputy Chief Lonnie Pipero arrived on scene and assisted Officer Perrone with the rescue. The 30-year-old male driver was then transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital by Monroe Twp. First Aid Squad in serious condition due to internal injuries. Officer Perrone was also taken to the hospital due to smoke inhalation. Officer Perrone was treated and released. Monroe Twp. Volunteer Fire Company #1 was able to quickly extinguish the fire.
According to a Monroe Township Police Department Report:
A Preliminary investigation revealed that Vehicle 1 (2013 Ford Fusion) operated by the 30-year-old male driver was traveling Eastbound on Pergola Ave. approaching the intersection with Namsan Dr. Vehicle 2 (2018 Kia Optima) operated by a 74-year-old male driver was traveling Westbound on Pergola Ave. just West of the intersection with Namsan Dr. For an unknown reason vehicle 1 crossed over the double yellow center line and left the roadway to the left. Vehicle 1 then struck a tree, overturned, and came to the position of final rest on its roof with the vehicle on fire in the center of Pergola Ave. Driver of vehicle 2 was unable to avoid vehicle 1 and struck it while it was on its roof in the middle of the roadway. Driver #2 was uninjured.
This accident is being investigated by Sergeant Anthony Trohalides and Officer Daniel Mosakowski of the Monroe Twp. Traffic Safety Division. Anyone who might have witnessed this crash is asked to contact the Monroe Township Police Traffic Safety Division at 732-521-0222 Ext. 126.