What to Know
- A woman was knocked unconscious when her airbag deployed after she crashed into a tractor-trailer in NJ over the weekend
- Flames started to consume her vehicle; a passing driver who saw her slumped over the wheel pulled over and unbuckled her seat belt
- He managed to pull her out of the car, and is being hailed a hero for saving the 59-year-old Monroe Township resident's life
A 59-year-old woman knocked unconscious after she hit the back of a tractor-trailer on a New Jersey road over the weekend, deploying her airbag, was helplessly slumped over the steering wheel as flames started to consume her car.
Fortunately, she now knows whom to thank for saving her life.
Two police officers responding to a call about a crash on Route 535 South near Route 32 around 9:15 p.m. Sunday saw an intensifying cloud of smoke at the intersection as they approached the scene.
A black Audi was fully engulfed in flames. A tractor-trailer nearby had damage to its back end. Traffic was at a halt.
The woman who had been driving the Audi and was knocked out by the airbag deployment, Catherine Bohar, was already out of the burning vehicle, being helped along by an off-duty New Jersey state corrections officer named Donald Carson.
Cops learned Carson had been driving past the crash on the other side of Route 535 North and saw Bohar unresponsive over the wheel. Her vehicle was just starting to catch fire and the flames were spreading rapidly. Carson got out of his own car and managed to unbuckle Bohar's seat belt, then pulled her out to safety as fire totally consumed her Audi.
Bohar was taken to a hospital and treated for her injuries, which were considered minor. The road was shut down for two hours as authorities investigated. The trailer driver, a 40-year-old man from Ontario, wasn't hurt.
South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka credited Carson's bravery in what he described as a near-deadly car crash.
“Donald Carson’s quick actions prevented a tragedy last night," Hayducka said in a statement Monday. "His selfless actions were able to help save the life of Catherine Bohar.”