BARNEGAT POLICE REPORT: Man Pulled from Burning Car
In other news, Vinnie's Pizzeria was hit by a car this weekend
An 86-year-old man was pulled from a burning car on Friday night, police said.
On Aug. 31st at 10:35 p.m., Barnegat Patrolmen Nicholas Venuto, Andrew Parsley, and George Martin responded to a serious motor vehicle accident on Route 72.
The officers arrived on scene to find a 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue had left the roadway and crashed into trees. The vehicle was on fire, and Agnelo Pereira, 86, of Waretown, was trapped in the vehicle.
Police said Pereira appeared to have suffered a "medical episode" and was not only trapped in the vehicle, but was clutching the steering wheel which he refused to release.
Officers were finally able to pull Pereira through the driver's side front window of the vehicle and drag him to safety.
An investigation revealed that Pereira's vehicle first left the roadway and struck a roadside ditch near mile marker 18, damaging the front right tire. Pereira continued to drive for nearly 7 miles, as evidenced by gouge marks in the roadway from the rim of the front right tire, police said.
Pereira was airlifted by MONOC medevac helicopter to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center with severe burns to both arms as well as shoulder and rib injuries.
Venuto suffered smoke inhalation, and Martin suffered second degree burns to his right arm. Both officers were treated and returned to duty.
In a statement issued to press and police, Committeeman Jeff Melchiondo said:
"This is yet another fine example of the professionalism and bravery of our Barnegat officers."
Also on Sept. 1 at 9:12 a.m., Barnegat officers responded to Vinnie's Italian Restaurant Pizzeria on West Bay Avenue for a report of a motor vehicle that struck the building.
Officers arrived to find a 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer had impacted and partially penetrated the building. The vehicle operator, Mariano Dicesare, 90, of Barnegat was uninjured.
An investigation revealed that Dicesare had been attempting to park his vehicle and depressed the accelerator instead of the brake.
Vinnie's was closed at the time and no one was injured, but the storefron sustained extensive damage to the front windows as well as structural damage. Members of the Barnegat Township Construction Office responded to inspect the building and determined that it was unsafe for habitation. The business will remain closed until an engineer can assess the structural damage and repairs can be made.
Pick it Plus, a business that borders Vinnie's, sustained minor damage to interior drywall and was determined to be structurally sound and safe after inspection. Pick it Plus and all other businesses in the complex were deemed safe and remain open for business.
Dicesare was issued a summons for careless driving, police said.