Officer Kevin Colomba of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department had just finished a midnight shift at the George Washington Bridge on October 31 and was driving home for some well-earned rest when he came upon the scene of a head-on collision in the upstate New York town of Tuxedo. A seven-year veteran of the department who also has 17 years of firefighting experience as a captain with the Warwick Fire Department, he didn’t hesitate to respond, immediately leaping into action to rescue both drivers and a passenger from the fiery scene.
Colomba quickly pulled the driver of one car to safety. Then, as the second vehicle started to become engulfed in flames, he dragged its driver out through the driver-side window. However, there was still an injured woman trapped in the passenger seat and the passenger-side door would not open. Once again braving the spreading fire, he warned the passenger to shield her face, used a punch-out tool to break the window and managed to pull her free.
The Tuxedo Fire Department soon arrived to extinguish the flames and treat the victims, and the three were transported to local hospitals. Thanks to Colomba’s swift, level-headed and courageous response, all are expected to survive.
“Whether on duty or off-duty, Port Authority police officers are committed to their oath and put others before themselves,” Port Authority Police Benevolent Association President Frank Conti told The New York Post. “Police Officer Colomba saved two people’s lives and his own by his quick, heroic actions.”