Officers, bystanders who lifted car off mom, baby honored in Yonkers

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021
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There was a special honor for the police officers and good Samaritans who lifted a car to rescue a mother and baby trapped after a crash in Yonkers.

YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- There was a special honor in Westchester County Wednesday for the police officers and good Samaritans who lifted a car to rescue a mother and baby trapped after the crash.

The 36-year-old woman was crossing the street with her infant when an out-of-control vehicle with an unlicensed driver behind the wheel hit them on Lake Avenue in Yonkers last month.

They were pinned by the car when it crashed into a building with a barbershop.

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Yonkers Police Officers Rocco Fucco and Paul Samoyedy and three eyewitnesses ran over and picked the car up off the mother and child.

"I'll tell you what, if it wasn't for the community and the gentlemen that were in the shop and the dad helping us, who knows what the outcome could have been," Samoyedy said. "It's really all on them."

The child, 8-month-old Leslie Palacios, suffered a skull fracture and underwent skin graft surgery after being burned on the shoulder by the underside of the car. She was released from the hospital Tuesday.

The mother, Mirna, remains hospitalized with a fractured leg.

The heroes received proclamations for their bravery and selfless act to save strangers.

"It's honestly a miracle that both of them survived," Fusco told ABC News. ""very strong mom ,and an even stronger little infant."

Fusco and Samoyedy were grabbing breakfast at a bagel shop next door during the crash and immediately jumped into action.

Body camera footage shows Fusco and bystanders as they lifted the car off of the pinned woman and child.

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"Somebody's gotta pull the baby," a person is heard yelling in the video.

Samoyedy, a 15-year veteran of the force, is then seen pulling the 8-month-old from underneath the vehicle.

"I got, I got it, I got the baby," he is heard saying in the video.

Police identified the driver as 43-year-old David Poncurack, who was arrested at the scene and charged with driving while intoxicated.


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