From the archives: Rescuers lift car, free cop
This article was originally published on April 19, 2000
A Nassau County police officer whose cruiser fish-tailed and flipped over yesterday morning in Massapequa was rescued by several other officers and civilians who lifted the car while he was pinned inside, Nassau police said.
Joseph Olivieri, 31, was on his way back to the Seventh Precinct after a night on patrol and was heading south on Carmans Road about 7 a.m. when his car skidded, slammed into a utility pole 100 yards south of Pittsburgh Avenue and overturned.
George Trimigliozzi, a Town of Oyster Bay sanitation supervisor, witnessed the crash and was the first person on the scene.
"He wasn't really speeding," Trimigliozzi said. "I don't know if he got a blow-out or hit a patch of slippery black ice. It seemed like he just lost control of the car...His engine was smoldering when I pulled up, so I took a fire extinguisher out of my truck and sprayed the whole thing onto the engine. I thought he would be dead by the way the car was looking, but he yelled at me to get him out of there."
Trimigliozzi said that while the men lifted the car, a paramedic crawled in through the passenger side, cut Olivieri's seat belt, got the body board under him and slid him out.
"We asked him the same questions over and over again to make sure he stayed with us," Kahl said. "Someone said, 'On three,' then they'd count 'One, two, three,' and we'd lift."
Police said the road was slick and the car's tires may have lost their grip when they passed over several painted yellow markings, which can be slippery when wet.
It's amazing the officer is in the condition he is," said Insp. Joan Yale, commanding officer of the Seventh Precinct. "If it wasn't for the people who saved him, he might not be in the same condition."
Olivieri was airlifted to Nassau County Medical Center in East Meadow, where he remains in critical but stable condition. Dr. J. Christopher DiGiacomo said Olivieri suffered a concussion and a fracture of the right femur, right elbow and left forearm.
"He seems to have no internal injuries," DiGiacomo said. "He is doing well and it looks like he will make a full recovery."
Olivieri, who has been on the force since December, 1998, and lives in Holbrook, will not be disciplined for the accident, police said.