The quick action of residents on Broadway Road in Darien today may have helped keep a serious accident from turning tragic.
After a 23-year-old mother from Cheektowaga lost control of her car on Route 20, having it turn over multiple times before coming to rest on the front lawn of Debbie Pugilese, residents rushed to the aid of the victims.
One witness, who was driving east on Route 20, called 9-1-1 and then called his wife, Emily Toal, a registered nurse.
Toal reached the scene before EMS personnel arrived.
"I'm an RN so I figured if I could help at all, I should," Toal said. "When I got here, I found a 6-year-old, faint pulses, faint breath sounds, and there was a 12-week-old on the ground and the mother was sitting with the 12-week-old. The mother was in shock. We got towels and tried to keep everybody warm before the shock set in. We tried to keep the 6-year-old's head stable until the EMTs got here."
Deputy Patrick Reeves was impressed by the response of the residents. He described several coming to the scene.
"The residents in the area and the witnesses helped us out tremendously until EMS arrived," Reeves said.
Steve Kidder, who lives next door to Pugilese, and like Pugilese saw the accident, said everybody pitched in to do what they could to help.
"I’m glad to have all these folks as my neighbors," Kidder said.
Both Kidder and Pugilese said they saw the silver Chevy Malibu heading west on Route 20 when the car, for an unknown reason, crossed into the eastbound lane, struck a guardrail and became airborne. The car then hit a ditch and became airborne again and rolled over. It flew over Pugilese's driveway, hit the ground and rolled again, coming to rest on the driver's side.
The 6-year-old girl was ejected.
"When I came down the woman was crawling from the car with an infant," Pugilese said.
State Police said the driver was Jelissa Jones. The names have the children have not been released.
The driver and the infant reportedly suffered cuts and abrasions.
The condition of the 6-year-old is not currently available. The child was transported to Women's and Children's Hospital in Buffalo by Mercy Flight.
Responding to the scene along with the Sheriff's Office and State Police were Darien fire volunteers and Mercy EMS.