Lakewood, NJ - Tom River Honors Man Who Rescued Jewish Baby In Fatal Minivan Crash
Lakewood, NJ - Just one month after the horrific death of an Orthodox Jewish mother from Toms River in a collision, a local man was honored for rescuing her infant daughter from the mangled wreck.
As previously reported on VIN News, Leah Eisdorfer of Toms River was driving on New Hampshire Avenue on March 9th when her vehicle inexplicably crossed the yellow line and plunged down an embankment, killing the 28 year old instantly.
William Copes, who was driving on the same road, pulled his car over and ran to offer his assistance, rescuing the baby girl who was suspended upside down while strapped in her car seat in the rear row of the Honda Odyssey.
The 51 year old Copes told the Asbury Park Press that with smoke pouring out of the minivan’s engine he was afraid that the car could explode without warning.
Obtaining a knife from another bystander, Copes squeezed through a small opening into the third seat of the Odyssey and freed the little girl from her car seat, moving her to a safer location until help arrived on scene.
The Toms River Police Department and the Township Council presented Copes, who sustained cuts and bruises in the rescue, with the Good Samaritan Award tonight in honor of his heroic actions.
Also present was the husband of the deceased, Dovid Eisdorfer, who wheeled his daughter in for the ceremony in her stroller, covered with a pink blanket.
Eisdorfer embraced Copes and presented him with a token gift of thanks. He read aloud from a card that he presented to Copes which bore the words, “this is just a token of my appreciation. Words could never describe the gratitude I have for your selflessness. You risked your life to save another. The soul of man is G-d’s candle. Thank you for saving my world; whoever saves a life it is as if he saved an entire world.”
Copes spoke briefly, thanking his wife, his family and the local township and sharing a few thoughts about that fateful day.
“March 9 is definitely going to be with me forever,” said Copes. “I would just hope that anybody else came to a situation like that they ,would do the same thing to recover another human being.”
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