Friday, March 11, 2016

Baby rescuer recounts TOMS RIVER - William Copes did not plan on being a hero that day he saw  a horrifying scene of death and twisted wreckage, but William Copes didn't hesitate when he heard a baby's cries from the rear of the smoking minivan reports “Oh, no,” he remembers saying to the handful of people who had raced with him to the site of the Wednesday morning crash on New Hampshire Avenue. "There’s a baby back there.” Copes didn't plan to be a hero that day "smoke poured from the battered vehicle's engine" But all Copes could think about was the baby. Fearful the minivan could explode, Copes quickly wedged his slight frame through a narrow opening on the Odyssey’s passenger side, cutting his forearm and bruising his ribs in the process. Squeezing through to the minivan's third row seats,
the 51-year-old Lakewood man found the girl, the only passenger, still strapped in her overturned car seat. She was alive -- and screaming, a positive sign -- but Copes couldn’t free her from the seat’s safety restraints. Outside the minivan, another motorist, Kerry Estomin watched Copes struggling. “Does anyone have a knife?” he remembers shouting. A heavy-set man handed Estomin a utility knife, which he passed inside to Copes. Moments later, Copes wriggled back out with the baby girl wrapped in his arms. She was scratched and bleeding from her nose, he said, but not seriously injured. After EMTs arrived and assessed the girl’s condition, they handed her back to Copes since he seemed best able to calm her. Copes said a police officer told him Wednesday that Eisdorfer's husband is deeply appreciative of what Copes did to rescue his daughter. While he's relieved she wasn't seriously hurt, Copes said his heart goes out to the little girl and her grieving family. Read more and watch video at

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