Off-duty corrections officer pulls woman out of burning vehicle in South Brunswick

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SOUTH BRUNSWICK – An off-duty corrections officer is being lauded for saving the life of a woman trapped in a burning vehicle.

South Brunswick police responded to Route 535 south at the intersection of Route 32 for a motor vehicle crash around 9:15 p.m. on June 17. Responding officers noticed a large cloud of smoke at the intersection and traffic flow coming to a stop, according to information provided by the South Brunswick Police Department.

When officers Bafti Salihi and George Morgan arrived, they found an unoccupied 2016 black Audi A3 fully engulfed in flames on Route 535, and a tractor trailer with rear-end damage driven by a 40-year-old man from Ontario, according to reports.

Officers then located the driver of the Audi, a 59-year-old woman from Monroe, who had a wrist injury. She was accompanied by Donald Carson, an off-duty New Jersey Department of Corrections officer, officials said.

Officers determined the woman was slowing her vehicle at the intersection of Route 535 south and Route 32 when she struck the rear of the tractor trailer, police said. The Audi’s airbag deployed as a result of the crash and she became unconscious, police said.

At this time, Carson was driving past the crash on Route 535 north and reportedly observed the woman slumped over at the wheel, and her vehicle began to catch on fire, according to the statement. Carson exited his vehicle and was able to unbuckle the woman’s seatbelt. He pulled her out of her vehicle to safety as her vehicle became engulfed in flames, according to reports.

The woman was transported to a local hospital and was treated for her injuries.

The roadway was closed for two hours as the Monmouth Junction Fire Department put out the fire, according to the statement.

South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka credited Carson’s bravery in this near deadly car crash.

“Donald Carson’s quick actions prevented a tragedy last night. His selfless actions were able to help save the life of [the woman],” Hayducka said.