Middlesex County News

South Brunswick: FedEx Driver Saves Crashed Motorist From Fiery Wreck

Credits: Police photo

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – The quick actions of a Federal Express delivery driver saved a crash victim Thursday evening after he flipped his car on Ridge Road, causing it to catch fire, police said.

According to police, the incident took place at 8:28 p.m. Thursday evening when police received several 911 calls of a motor vehicle accident involving an overturned vehicle that was on fire on Ridge Road.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the driver of the crashed vehicle, Dean Vitale, 24, of Spotswood, injured but away from the vehicle, police said.

Sign Up for E-News

Investigating officers learned that Vitale was driving a 2002 Nissan Maxima eastbound on Ridge Road when he swerved to avoid another vehicle.

Police said Vitale lost control of the Nissan and went off the road, striking a large landscaping rock in front of 308 Ridge Road, and sending the car airborne.

While in the air, the rear of the vehicle flipped over the front, striking the rock and a commercial business sign, police said.

The Nissan then came to rest, overturned, on the front lawn of 306 Ridge Road and caught fire.

A passing Federal Express delivery driver, Anthony Lanza, of North Brunswick, was traveling westbound on Ridge Road at the time of the crash and witnessed the accident, police said.

He immediately headed to the overturned Nissan, and could see fire from the front of the vehicle, but was unable to see if anyone was inside from the driver’s window, police said.

Lanza then went around the passenger’s side and opened the door, where he saw Vitale bleeding.

He helped Vitale get out and away from the burning car and then returned to his truck to get a fire extinguisher and put out the fire, police said.

“It is clear Mr. Lanza’s actions prevented this crash from becoming a tragedy,” Chief of police Raymond Hayducka said. “The impact of the crash was so forceful it pushed a 1,000-pound landscaping rock 15 feet and caused the Nissan’s gas tank to rupture. Mr. Lanza got the driver away from the vehicle and stopped the fire from spreading to the ruptured gas tank. Mr. Lanza put his own safety at risk in rescuing the injured driver. The first officer was on scene of the crash in less than a minute, but seconds count and Mr. Lanza made all the difference.”

The Monmouth Junction First Aid Squad transported Vitale to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for treatment, police said.

The Monmouth Junction Fire Department also responded to the call.

The accident remains under investigation, police said.

Did you like this story?

Give us your feedback at ckim@tapinto.net or nwells@tapinto.net and click here to express your support for local news today.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our Facebook Page!

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android - Click here for iOS .

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


East Brunswick: I Don't Wanna Close Up, I'm a Toys-R-Us Kid

March 16, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick used to be the home of Meyer's toy store, an almost idyllic wonderland of all sorts of Barbies, parts for swimming pools, and clanging model trains until it closed in 2002.  Kay-Bee toy store was a popular stop at the Brunswick Square Mall until 2009, with a salesperson often displaying the newest gadget outside its door, causing eager kids ...


Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

12th Annual Interfaith Conference – Women in Islam on March 25

March 23, 2018

 MONROE, NJ -  Muslims for Peace, Inc. proudly announces the presentation of the 12th Annual Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Interfaith Conference – Women in Islam: A Dialogue.

The Conference will be held on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at Rutgers’ Cook Campus Student Center, 54 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. This year’s Conference will be hosted by Anisa Diab and ...

Middlesex County Young Republicans Host "Road to Victory" Event at the Green Turtle

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Middlesex County Young Republican Chairman John Steiner would like to announce the Middlesex County Young Republicans "Road to Victory" Reception, which will take place on March 22 at the Green Turtle in North Brunswick from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.

This event will serve as the official launch for the 2018 campaign season for the Middlesex ...

Free Program for People with Diabetes Offered in Piscataway

Are you a person with Medicare living with diabetes or know someone who is? Take control of your health through a free and fun six-week workshop series.

Meet others going through similar experiences and learn about diabetes and its risks, preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, medication management, dealing with stress and depression, action planning, and much more. Graduates from ...

Hillary Clinton coming to Rutgers, event moved to RAC to handle crowd

NEW BRUNSWICK – Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics will host former presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton on March 29.

Originally scheduled for the College Avenue Gym, the event, entitled “A Conversation with the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton,” has been moved to the Rutgers Athletic Center “due to the extraordinary level of ...

Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity Basketball News

The Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity basketball team concluded a very successful season by capturing two championships over the weekend.  The Storm continued the basketball program’s winning ways when the team captured the school’s fourth consecutive Diocese of Metuchen CYM Varsity White Division Championship on its home court on Saturday evening.  The team then secured the ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 11:00 AM

Piscataway Little League Fields, Piscataway

Annual Piscataway Easter Egg Hunt

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 12:00 PM

Middlesex County College - Center Cafe C, Edison

Mission 22 United in the War Against Veteran ...

Sat, March 24, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 25, 8:00 AM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

Palm Sunday

Religions And Spirituality

Sun, March 25, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Springfield Fire Department Delivers Baby on West I-78

March 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - On March 20, 2018 at 8:14 a.m. the Springfield Fire Department was dispatched to Route 78 Westbound near milepost 50.2 for a report of a woman in labor on the side of the road.  

Captain Mastroeni (Unit 2) & Chief Palumbo (Unit 1) were the first units to arrive on scene, and quickly recognized that the woman would be unable to make it to the hospital in time for ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...