, Gloucester, MA

October 23, 2013

A neighborly rescue

Witnesses pull woman to safety after Rockport crash

By James Niedzinski
Staff Writer

---- — ROCKPORT — The saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

And in Rockport Tuesday, it took a handful of residents and Good Samaritans to help rescue a woman from her overturned vehicle after a car accident.

Police responded around 2 p.m. Tuesday to a report of single-car accident on Railroad Avenue, where a female driver struck a small brick wall and her car flipped onto its side, with the passenger side against the pavement and the driver trapped.

Rockport police Sgt. Michael Marino said that police, firefighters and emergency crews quickly arrived to close off Railroad Avenue. Before they arrived, however, nearby Rockporters and passers-by had already broken into the car by using a nearby brick and crawled through the rear window to unlock the car’s doors.

Jeff Proposki, who was at the scene, said he helped the woman out of the car from the inside as others — including a Cape Ann Transportation Authority bus driver — guided her out of the car.

“It sounded like a lot going on in one short second,” said Proposki, who owns and operates Rockport Service Station up the street from the accident site.

Marino said the woman was transported to Addison Gilbert Hospital. Police did not release the name of the driver, and there was no information immediately available on the woman’s medical condition, age, name or address.

There was no indication of what caused the accident, although police reported through the scanner that the woman may have had a seizure, and Proposki noted there were no tire skid marks.

“We heard a giant ‘thud,’” said Colin Phillips, 23, of Railroad Avenue. He was nearby and another one of those who helped the woman out of the car, with instruction from Rockport paramedics.

Phillips said the woman hit the small brick wall that stands outside the Anchorage Apartment Townhouses; he noted that she was wearing a seat belt.

“A lot of people were calm; everybody took initiative in some sort of way,” he said. “Rockporters look after one another.”

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at