Watch: NY cops, passersby lift car off baby pinned beneath drunk driver’s car

An 8-month-old infant is on the road to recovery thanks to some quick-thinking cops

By Larry McShane
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — This death-defying rescue was part miracle, part muscle.

An 8-month-old infant, pinned beneath a drunken driver’s car Friday after a horrifying 8:30 a.m. crash, escaped with her life when a pair of Yonkers police officers and bystanders dramatically lifted the damaged vehicle and rescued the crying baby, said Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller.

A video showed accused drunken driver David Poncurak smashing into a parked car seconds before veering into the child’s unsuspecting mom as she crossed the Yonkers street with the baby in her arms.

The 2005 Hyundai Elantra, with the mother and daughter now on the hood of the car, plowed into a barber shop before screeching to a stop. Officers Paul Samoyedny and Rocco Fusco rushed inside from a neighboring bagel shop to lead the rescue effort before discovering the bawling infant was underneath the car and getting to work.

The officers’ body cameras showed Fusco leading the brigade lifting the car while his partner cleared debris off the ground and grabbed the baby during the dramatic rescue inside the Lake Ave. business.

“We got a baby under the vehicle,” declares Fusco on dramatic footage of the life-saving effort. “Grab the baby!”

As Fusco and the others simultaneously lifted the car, father of four Samoyedny removed the child with her white Minnie Mouse print dress and her tiny body drenched in motor oil.

“I got it, I got it!” he shouts. “I got the baby!”


Cops found an alcoholic beverage in the vehicle before arresting driver Poncurak, 43, of Yonkers, on charges of driving while intoxicated, vehicular assault and aggravated unlicensed operation of a car. He was held in the Yonkers City Jail pending his arraignment.

According to authorities, Poncurak was given a field sobriety test and consented to blood tests at the scene.

The child suffered a skull fracture and burns to her back and foot, while the mother sustained a fractured femur.

“Luckily, two veteran officers just happened to be getting breakfast next door and quickly took action along with members of the community,” said Mueller. “The actions taken are nothing short of heroic.”

Both mother and child were taken to a nearby trauma center and improbably expected to survive despite their injuries.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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