Volunteer fireman Joe Tortorice sprung to action by himself on Christmas Eve and pulled a couple from a car wreck. His quick thinking saved their life because immediately after pulling the two out, the car became engulfed in flames.
Tortorice said he found the the couple while returning to his firehouse in Riverhead.
“Faintly, I saw a taillight into the woods, and right then and there the adrenaline in me kicked in, and the fireman in me kicked in,” Tortorice told CBS news.. “I saw a little flame next you know it, 3 or 4 seconds later the entire engine compartment was engulfed in flames, so my first reaction was I started with her — I started to pull her away. I got him back to lay down, and I began to just do my EMS stuff that I know; basic life support.”
The blazing wreck took place westbound on Sunrise Highway near exit 61 in East Moriches. At the wheel was 23-year-old Alexandra Mondi. Tortorice says Mondi screamed in pain throughout the entire rescue and noticed her legs were mangled. With her was Michael LaFreniere, 27, her roommate. When the crash took place LaFreniere thought his spine was broken.
“They were in shock,” said the fireman Tortorice. “I really couldn't see his face, it was covered in blood. She was screaming the whole time, she was in pain.”
After pulling them out Tortorice dragged the two 60 feet away from the crash before calling 911. Mondi and LaFreniere were then transported to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center and survived due to the volunteer fireman’s heroism. As of right now Suffolk County police say there may have been no way the two would have escaped without the help of Tortorice.