FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2015
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Office of Public Affairs (609) 882-2000
Capt. Stephen Jones - ext. 6513
Lt. Brian Polite - ext. 6514
SFC Gregory Williams - ext. 6515
Sgt. Jeff Flynn - ext. 6516
Tpr. Alina Spies - ext. 6531
Union Twp., Hunterdon Co. - When media calls came in regarding an armored truck crash on Rt. 78 yesterday morning, we gave out the basic info available at the time. Late in the day, we learned how the quick actions of two off duty New Jersey state troopers on their way to work probably saved the life of a victim in that crash.
Lt. Porfirio Ayala, station commander for the NJSP Metro North Unit in Irvington, came upon the crash scene and called for assistance as he rushed in to assess the situation. Tpr. Stephen Kempinski of the Gangs & Organized Crime Unit heard the call while on his way to work and turned around to see how he could help. Both troopers had taken a tactical first aid course sponsored by the US Army, which among other subjects, had trained them in the use of tourniquets.
Lt. Ayala told Tpr. Kempinski that the victim, Fidel Martinez, 54, of Harrison, N.J., was bleeding profusely from a severe injury to his upper thigh. Tpr. Kempinski grabbed a tourniquet from his car and applied it. The bleeding continued through his trousers and the two had to calm the victim and re-apply the tourniquet at the top of his leg, which stopped the flow. Seeing a lot of diesel fuel pooling around their feet, they removed the victim to a safe location and wrapped him to keep him warm. Soon, the Clinton Township Rescue Squad arrived and assumed care for the injured man.
“The troopers were able to use their training, equipment, and experience to give the victim every opportunity to survive,” said ‘Bucky’ Buchanan, Operations Chief for the Clinton Township Rescue Squad.
“These troopers were not on patrol or in uniform. They were on their way to work, but they knew the duty to protect and serve the public is a 24/7 commitment. I could not be prouder of their fast actions in this critical response,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the State Police.
Mr. Martinez was medevac’d by State Police helicopter to St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He remains in critical condition.
The driver of the truck, Sharayah Gardner, 25, of Newark, lost control of the 2012 Brinks truck and struck the guide rail in the center median and then a bridge pillar. She was not injured in the crash, which is still under investigation.
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