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Mom credits responders for saving her son’s life after car fell on him

Police officers lifted the car off Justin Muller, a 23-year-old Army specialist, and paramedics treated his collapsed lung at the scene

By Michael Randall
The Times Herald-Record

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. — A 23-year-old Army specialist home on leave was seriously injured Tuesday evening when the car he was working on fell on him, crushing his chest.

The victim, Justin Muller of Newburgh, told police he was working on his 2015 Nissan Juke when the floor jack slipped and the car fell on his chest.

The accident happened at a residence on Coutant Lane, where Muller had gone to a friend’s home to repair some damage his car sustained on Lake Drive in the City of Newburgh.

His mom, Christine Vega, couldn’t say enough about the New Windsor police officers who responded quickly to a 911 call and lifted the car off him, and the New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corps paramedics who treated his collapsed lung at the scene. She says they saved his life.

“We’re very grateful they were able to get him out of there,” Vega said on Wednesday.

Three officers lifted the vehicle off Muller and a fourth one pulled him out from under it. Police said he was conscious and alert.

He was treated at the scene by the paramedics and then taken to a nearby landing zone, from which a helicopter flew him to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla for further treatment.

Vega said Muller suffered four broken ribs and a facial fracture, in addition to the collapsed lung.

Vega said her son underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon. He will take about four weeks to heal. They don’t know yet if more surgeries will be required.

Vega said Muller was sore but was able to get up out of bed and walk to the stretcher that took him to surgery.

“He’s a tough kid,” she said.

Muller has been stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, and was home on leave. He was due to return to the Army at a new assignment at upstate Fort Drum on Nov. 20.

Army personnel have also been inquiring about his condition.

“The Army has been great to us through all this, too,” Vega said.


©2019 The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.