Lake Ronkonkoma, NY - February 1, 2017 - A Suffolk County Police officer and an off-duty firefighter rescued a woman from a burning vehicle on the Long Island Expressway in Lake Ronkonkoma this morning.
Melissa Ortiz was driving a Ford Expedition in the left lane of the eastbound Long Island Expressway when her vehicle collided with a National Grid vehicle, driven by Frederick Foote, at approximately 10:50 a.m. The Expedition overturned and became engulfed in flames. Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Mutarelli and passing motorist Jeffrey Dupoux, a volunteer firefighter with the Elmont Fire Department, pulled Ortiz from the vehicle.
Ortiz, 23, of Medford, and Foote, 36, of Yaphank, were both transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
“These two men are truly guardian angels who were at the right place, at the right time,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy D. Sini said. “This is truly an act of bravery and professionalism.”