PISCATAWAY, NJ – A Piscataway DPW foreman is being hailed as a hero for helping a stranded motorist to safety in flood waters along Possumtown Road during last Thursday’s rain storms.
According to a Monday news release, Michael Mosier, a long-time township employee “swam into shoulder deep flood waters to rescue a middle-aged woman trapped in her nearly submerged car near a railroad overpass between Birch Run Drive and 1st Avenue.”
Mosier and his Department of Public Works’ colleague, Jason Teal had driven to the flooded area at about 8:00 that morning to check on the municipal pumps when they came upon the stranded driver who was screaming for help, said officials.
They gave the following account in the news release:
“Mosier and Teal scaled the embankment and climbed on top of the railroad bridge. Seeing that her head was above the water that had filled into her car, they began trying to encourage her to exit. In her panic, she made a motion with her hand and arm for which Mosier and Teal thought she may be trying to communicate that people, perhaps children, were in the backseat. Mosier then quickly threw his wallet, radio & phones onto the bridge, scaled back down the embankment through the reeds and sticker bushes, jumped into the waters and swam to her car.
“Estimated to be at around 4½ feet of water, Mosier first went to the passenger-side back door and ascertained that no one was in the back seat. He then opened the passenger-side front door, the driver quickly came to him and he grabbed her around her torso as a lifeguard would. While bringing her back to shallower waters toward the north, he assured her that he was standing up which helped her calm down. Getting her to land, he sat her down on the curb until the Piscataway Township Police Department and a Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJ) rescue squad arrived shortly thereafter, themselves having to navigate around area flooded roadways.
RWJ rescue personnel evaluated the driver who later declined further medical treatment. Her car was recovered only after flood waters receded several hours later.”
Possumtown Road had been closed overnight until late-morning because of flooding reported from the Middlesex Boro border to Centennial Ave. Police officials issued notices via the SwiftReach Networks advising of hazardous road conditions in the area, and for drivers to seek alternate routes.
Roadway barricades were put in place in flooded areas, said township officials.
“Through his courage and devotion to helping others, Michael represents the best of Piscataway,” said Mayor Brian C. Wahler. “To say that Michael went above and beyond the call of duty is an understatement. A person is alive today thanks to Michael’s quick thinking and valiant efforts.”
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