In the early morning hours of Saturday, a crash at Lincoln Avenue and Rock Road closed Lincoln ave between Rock Road and Van Winkle of Hawthorne. Glen Rock PD, EMS and Fire responded to the crash along with Ridgewood PD, Hawthorne PD, Bergen County Sheriffs Office, Criminal investigation Unit and the BCPO Fatal Accident Unit.
Per Chief Dean Ackermann, ” Upon arrival officers found that one of the vehicles had caught fire and was engulfed in flames. The driver of that vehicle had been able to get out, however the driver of the second nearby vehicle was entrapped and seriously injured. Responding paramedics were unable assist the victim due to theseverity of the working vehicle fire.”
Ackermann continued, ” With complete disregard for their personal safety Sgt. Greg Carter, P.O. Tarantino and P.O. Nick Onove immediately began rescue efforts. Assisted by officers from Ridgewood and Hawthorne, they began a fire extinguisher brigade to hold back the flames while they used extrication equipment from their patrol vehicles and their bare hands to free the trapped victim. The man who is 6’7” tall and weighs about 250 pounds was not wearing a seatbelt and was entwined in the wreckage of the vehicle. Fire Fighters from the Glen Rock Volunteer Fire Department arrived as rescue operations were in progress. They were able to bring under control and extinguish the vehicle fire shortly thereafter. Officers from several other law enforcement agencies also arrive on to both assist on scene and handle additional calls for service in other areas of Glen Rock.”
The two victims, Jason A Bednar age 41 from Hawthorne and a 23 YO Passaic man, were transported to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson with serious injuries. Bednar was found to be highly intoxicated per Ackermann.
Both vehicles, a Chevy Trailblazer and a Nissan sedan, were removed by a flat bed tow truck.
Criminal charges were filed by P.O. John Tarantino after the investigation. He charged Bednar with one count each of Assault by Auto 2C:12-1C; Driving While Intoxicated 39:4-50; and Reckless Driving 39:4-96. Mr. Bednar remained at the hospital and will be scheduled to appear before Central Judicial Processing at the Superior Court in Hackensack at a later date. Lincoln was reopened at 9:04am this am.
Ackermann reminds the public that these charged are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and would also like to thank the agencies who responded to assist.
You can see the GRPD officers heroic actions in the video. Here is the direct link incase the video above does not work: https://vimeo.com/347956017
Submitted by: Boyd A Loving, Chief Dean Ackermann