WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – State Trooper John Vescio was one of the six injured in the Mobil gas station accident and fire Tuesday and pulled one of the other drivers out of a burning car to safety.
Vescio was filling up his unmarked police vehicle at the Hutchinson River Parkway gas station Tuesday on his way to work. Around 11:17 a.m., a 69-year-old man, who has been identified as Middlebury, Conn., resident Joseph Bucci, sped into the station and slammed into another car pumping gas and the pump itself. Police say he was having a diabetic emergency.
Vescio was on the other side of that pump, which then fell on top of him. Despite being hurt, the trooper crawled out from under the pump housing before Bucci’s car caught fire and pulled him out to safety. He then directed others away from the fire, according to a New York State Police press release.
“Despite Senior Investigator Vescio’s own injuries, he remained focused and committed to saving the life of the operator of that Toyota,” Captain Dominick Chiumento, who was at the scene, said in a statement. “If not for his swift response, the situation could have turned much worse.”
Vescio was one of three to be taken to a nearby hospital for non-life threatening injuries. He has been released, but Bucci remains at Westchester Medical Center Wednesday, Kieran O'Leary, public information officer for Westchester County police, said.
The Westchester County Department of Public Safety is handling the accident investigation.
Vescio had ammunition in his trunk, which resulted in “popping noises,” according to Chiumento. However, he said none of Vescio’s weapons or ammunition was missing nor compromised. Other equipment in the trunk and the car itself were heavily damaged.
The Mobil Gas station has regained power to its store, which has reopened, O'Leary said. The northbound gas pumps are also open, as they were not affected by the fire. The gas station remains closed off to southbound traffic Wednesday.