(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — The mayor of Binghamton, New York, has released dashcam footage of a 10-car pileup on Highway 17 last week in an attempt to find and honor the bystanders who can be seen on camera rescuing a woman from a burning vehicle.
Good Samaritan Jay Zemotel said he was among those at the scene of the crash, which he said, “words can’t describe,” and helped rescue a paralyzed woman and others who were trapped in their vehicles.
“It was just amazing; a big cloud of dust. And when it settled it was just car parts and shrapnel everywhere. It was unexplainable,” Zemotel told ABC News Tuesday.
“It was a pretty traumatic event. I haven’t really slept well since. You just replay the accident in your head,” Zemotel said of the accident. “It was just kind of strange because I totally missed the accident. It was literally like feet in front of me.”
Zemotel said he was pulling a man from his vehicle when he noticed a woman calling for help in her vehicle behind them. “Then I saw she was in a wheelchair, and then I saw the other car on fire, and I was like, ‘OK, we have got to get you out of here.'”
“It was like I was trapped in a movie. You see a car on fire you think it’s going to blow up. I was kind of fearing for my life, but I wasn’t going to leave her there. There’s just no way,” Zemotel said.
He added that he was just happy that no one died in the crash.
Binghamton Mayor Rich David said in a Facebook post that “miraculously,” there were no fatalities, and praised the “brave individuals” who stepped up to help.
“Dramatic dash camera video of last week’s 10-vehicle pileup on Route 17 in the City of Binghamton. It captures the chilling first moments of the crash and the actions of bystanders who pulled a woman from a burning vehicle. In a time of crisis, these brave individuals navigated through flames and broken glass to save a stranger’s life,” the mayor wrote in a Facebook post.
“The woman suffered only minor cuts and bruises. Miraculously, the crash resulted in no fatalities. We’re still attempting to identify those seen on video so they can be recognized for their efforts. On behalf of our entire community, I commend these unsung heroes as well as our local police, fire and EMS first responders. Binghamton is safer because of you.”
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