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Off-duty CO helps save truck driver engulfed in flames on NJ Turnpike

Daniel O’Beirne was on his way to work when he noticed a tractor-trailer had struck a pole and burst into flames


By Sarah Calams

LINDEN, N.J. — An off-duty corrections officer was among several good Samaritans who leapt into action to save a truck driver whose body was engulfed in flames Monday afternoon. reported that Daniel O’Beirne, who also serves as a volunteer Wood-Ridge firefighter, was on his way to work as a corrections officer when he noticed a tractor-trailer had struck a pole and burst into flames. O’Beirne pulled over, got out of his car and ran over to help the truck driver. The driver, according to the report, was standing on the running boards of his truck, completely engulfed in flames.

“This guy looked at me with a stare that said, ‘Help me,’” O’Beirne said. “And he knew I was coming to help him.”

O’Beirne pulled the driver from the truck and used his own shirt and pants to help put out the flames. Another driver, Jordan Reed, who’s an emergency medicine physician assistant with almost a decade of EMT experience, ran over with a blanket from his truck to help extinguish the fire.

O’Beirne and Reed were able to put out the rest of the fire consuming the driver and assisted him to the side of the road. Reed also collected water bottles from passing drivers to help cool down the truck driver.

“Everything went as smoothly as it could for a bunch of strangers,” O’Beirne said. “It was all-around a team effort. There is nothing that I would have changed.”

The driver was airlifted to a hospital with serious burns.