Mom, baby reunited with officers, bystanders who rescued them after crash in Yonkers

YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- A mother and baby who were rescued after they were trapped underneath a car in a crash in Westchester County were reunited with the police officers and good Samaritans who lifted the vehicle off of them.
They all came together at Yonkers City Hall Wednesday to meet for the first time, but also to celebrate Leslie Palacios' birthday, who turns one on Thanksgiving Day.

The family has a lot to be thankful for this year, almost four months to the day after Leslie and her 36-year-old mother, Mirna, were crossing the street when an out-of-control vehicle with an unlicensed driver behind the wheel hit them on Lake Avenue in Yonkers.

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

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

Leslie, who was 8 months old at the time, suffered a skull fracture and underwent skin graft surgery after being burned on the shoulder by the underside of the car.

Mirna's leg was badly broken, both were hospitalized, and they are still recovering.

At Wednesday's event, a police officer who helped the family read a message on the mother's behalf:

"These last four months have been incredibly tough, but Leslie and I continue to do better and get stronger every day. We look forward to celebrating this holiday season and Leslie's first birthday tomorrow where we can give thanks for all that we have in life."

A happy ending indeed, but as the district attorney pointed out, there was a crime committed and so the legal process goes on.

The driver, 43-year-old David Poncurack, plead guilty earlier this month to drunk driving and vehicular assault.

He'll be sentenced in January and faces between five and 15 years in prison.

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