Witness details bystanders' frantic CPR efforts after NY crash

“He would give out dribs and drabs of breath, but I could just feel that he was getting warm and then cold,” Joey Romano, who performed CPR, said


Christine DeRosa
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Joey Romano, who was tired, was stopped at a light in Eltingville Thursday night, his head leaning back against the headrest, when his truck was suddenly hit from behind.

The driver in the car that struck Romano’s vehicle suffered an apparent medical episode while he was driving, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

“This guy must have passed out while he was hitting the gas to advance to my truck and never hit the brake,” Romano said. “He hit me at maybe 20, 25 miles an hour. His whole car was demolished.”

After being rear-ended, Romano jumped from his car and noticed the windows of the other vehicle were up and the passenger was yelling that she did not know how to open them because the car was off. Romano then ran to her side of the vehicle and pulled her out.

Romano then opened the other door and saw that the driver was unconscious with his mouth and eyes open, he said. Another bystander, described as a young man and off-duty Port Authority employee, then began to help, trying to wake the driver, he said.

Since the driver was unresponsive, the young man started CPR and Romano began to breathe into his mouth, he said.

“He would give out dribs and drabs of breath, but I could just feel that he was getting warm and then cold,” Romano said. “You could feel the temperature change and we stood there for about 10, 15 minutes. He wasn’t coming back. As soon as we put him on his side, EMS and FDNY arrived.”

He was put into an ambulance and EMS was able to get a heartbeat, police said.

The man was transferred to Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) in Ocean Breeze and is currently in the Cardiac Care Unit in stable condition, according to a SIUH spokesperson.

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©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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