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Southampton supervisor helps in rescue of stranded mom, kids

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman on April 12,

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman on April 12, 2016. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he and town police officers helped pull out two cars that got stuck in the snow Thursday.

Schneiderman and Lt. Mike Zarro were on patrol when they spotted a minivan that was stuck on a ramp off Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays around 11 a.m. Inside the car were a mother and her two children with special needs.

Schneiderman said he and about four other officers tried pushing out the minivan, which wouldn’t budge. He had also tried to shovel it out.

“We were trying, but it really was just too slick,” Schneiderman said.

One of the kids was young enough to be in a car seat and had a feeding tube, Schneiderman said. The other child is severely autistic, the children’s mother told Schneiderman.

Another driver pulled over to try and help out the mom, but “he got stuck too” and had to be pulled out by police, Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman said he left the mom and children with police officers. A towing company and state police were able to tow both cars out soon after, town police said.

Later in the day, Schneiderman said he assisted in another rescue when he and Lt. James Kiernan spotted a vehicle stranded on the side of Route 24 in Flanders about 1 p.m. The road had not yet been plowed, and the car had slid off the road with it’s driver, an elderly man, Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman said he and Kiernan helped dig out the man’s vehicle with a tow rope hooked to a town vehicle with four-wheel drive. The man then left to drive back home.

Schneiderman said he was happy he was able to help, but he also gave credit to other town employees.

“I’m thinking more about all the people who got stranded who I wasn’t able to help,” he said. “The kudos go to all the highway workers and police officers who do this every day.”

Southampton Town had 18 vehicle-related crashes Thursday but no reports of injuries, police said.

Schneiderman declared a snow emergency around 12 p.m. to prevent nonemergency vehicles from going on the roads and to allow plows to operate.

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