TOMS RIVER, NJ – An off-duty Seaside Park police officer was the first responder at the scene of a serious crash on Route 37 Friday night and is being credited with saving the life of a 78-year-old man who suffered a medical episode just prior to the crash.
At around 3:45 pm, Toms River Police Department officers were dispatched to the area of Route 37 and Hooper Avenue in response to a report of a motor vehicle accident.
Investigators determined Horst Szczypinski, 78, of South Toms River, was driving westbound on Route 37 East when he ran off the road and up the center median, striking several light stanchions and coming to rest in the intersection.
Police believe he may have suffered from a medical episode at the time of the accident.
Following the crash, off-duty Seaside Park Officer Ryan Stack and good samaritans broke the car’s window and performed CPR on Mr. Szczypinski.
After he regained a pulse, multiple members of the TRPD assisted him by providing oxygen, utilizing a defibrillator, and performing CPR for a number of minutes.
When Mr. Szczypinski’s pulse was regained, he was transported to Community Medical Center, where he was alert and talking to the medical staff.
In response to the incident, NJDOT responded to the scene to repair the lights at the intersection of the two state-operated highways.
Traffic Safety Officer Adam Koeppen is conducting an investigation into the accident.