RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A tow truck driver is being credited with going above and beyond to save a life in New Jersey.
Paul Carmeci was on his way to work in Rutherford earlier this month when a car in front of him flew off the road, flipped over and hit a tree.
"It's always usually a boring ride in, never nothing exciting," he told Eyewitness News. "And then I just seen a cloud of smoke and debris."
Police say it happened on the Route 17 North exit ramp off Route 3 West at 4:40 a.m. on March 10th.
Carmeci, who works for Nick's Towing Service, was able to pull over and pull the driver out of his 2001 Mazda convertible as another driver called 911.
"He was covered in blood, and when I pulled him out I had blood on my hands, all over my clothes," Carmeci said.
The tow truck driver did more than just lend a helping hand that day. He just may have saved the driver's life.
"The car could have collapsed," said Rutherford Police Officer Anthony Merlo. "Like, the integrity of the vehicle... it could have crushed him underneath it."
Carmeci provided an exact location to the 911 operator.
The off-duty tow truck driver then pulled the victim out through the blown-out passenger's side window and provided aid until paramedics arrived.
The driver, who did survive, was later charged with DWI.
"What Paul did that day was tremendous," said Officer Thomas Kilroe. "He played a paramount part in what happened."
Carmeci, who credits his military and towing experience for his quick response to stop and assist, is as humble as he is brave.
"I'm not a hero, I just did what I think what anybody else would do or should do," he said. "People are in need, you can't just leave somebody bleeding and hurt on the side of the road."
Carmeci said he has one request: when you're driving and see a first responder or tow truck driver working on the side of the road, slow down and move over a lane if possible.
They'd like to go home too, he said.
ALSO READ | Woman rescues dog in NYC subway after seeing Instagram post
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News