Cops heralded as heroes after fiery Camden crash, seek civilians who helped

David Madden
April 19, 2019 - 3:11 pm
(L to R) Brian McCline, Vincent Russomanno, Joseph Mair, Vaughn Edwards

David Madden/KYW Newsradio

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CAMDEN, NJ (KYW Newsradio) -- Four Camden police officers and a fifth from the Delaware River Port Authority are getting kudos for rescuing four people from the aftermath of a fiery two car collision on I-676 almost two weeks ago.

Camden County Police released body cam video of the incident and says they are looking for the four good Samaritans who also stopped to help.

Officer Vaughn Edwards approached the scene with his body cam rolling, to see an engulfed sedan and an SUV just starting to burn near the northbound Atlantic Avenue Exit on April 7.

One civilian, the officers say, came uniquely equipped to help.

“The bystander who came in was amazing,” Edwards said. “He actually had a medical bag with him that he brought over.”

Along with fellow Camden officers Joseph Mair, Brian McCline, Vincent Russomanno and DRPA officer Franklin Flash, they pulled all four occupants to safety. They’re at home recovering now, but were it not for these quick thinking officers, this could have been deadly.

That’s why the search is on for those who stopped to help.

“We would very much like to have them recognized for being the heroes they are,” Camden County Police Lt. John Martinez added. “We don’t really deal with fires that often. But for a civilian to do it, that goes above and beyond.”

The officers who attended the press conference, Flash was not in attendance, insisted that their actions were just all a part of the job. Russomanno shrugged it off as he recounted how his uniform caught on fire. “Just got hot enough that I had to stop at one point,” he said.

In fact, they hadn’t told their loved ones about the incident until the word got out about it.

State police, who cover that stretch of highway, are still investigating the accident.