The Hero from Elmhurst
Catching up on yesterday’s ProJo this morning, I came across this jawdropper development to the terrible story of two men hit and one man impaled in a windshield.
[Albert] Garcia was approaching the Branch Avenue exit, on his way to pick up his brother at a Providence club Saturday night when he saw a two-car crash, “a football field away,” in the high-speed lane on Route 95 south.
Garcia said he saw the Honda Civic “on the left, going about 75 mph.”
“He tried to brake a couple of times and tried to move to the middle lane,” said Garcia. Then Garcia saw the car, driven by Christopher J. Swiridowsky, hit two men standing outside crashed cars.
“One I saw on the middle of the road,” Garcia said. “The other, I never saw again.”
Motorists stopped to help the victims.
Swiridowsky appeared to stop briefly, Garcia said, but then sped off, taking the Branch Avenue exit.
Garcia said he thought of staying to help the victims, but decided instead to chase the car.
“It was late at night. It was dark, and it was a black car,” Garcia recalled, adding, “Nobody is going to get this guy’s plate. This guy’s going to get away.”
Driven by adrenaline, Garcia followed the car off the highway onto Branch Avenue.“I got a license plate, but I was so nervous that I couldn’t write it down, couldn’t find a pen” and couldn’t juggle the cell phone.
So, he stayed on Swiridowsky’s tail until the car pulled into the National Office Products parking lot on Mechanics Avenue a mile and a half away from the crash site. He positioned his car behind Swiridowsky’s, blocking it.
Reacting to the initial report of the accident, Providence EMT Michael Morse over at Rescuing Providence observed
I don’t know if it is a Providence thing, but over half of the MVA’s we respond to are hit and runs. It doesn’t matter the severity, some people are so self consumed they just don’t care if another human being lives or dies.
Were it not for the focus and bravery of one man, a depraved, reckless scumbag might not have been brought to account.
Bravo, Albert Garcia.