Teen Thought He Was Saving GF After Fiery NJ Crash — But Really She Was Saving Him

Jack Insinga was supposed to be graduating high school on June 18.

Jack Insinga became a double amputee after he was involved in a fiery wreck on June 3 in Sussex County.

Jack Insinga became a double amputee after he was involved in a fiery wreck on June 3 in Sussex County.

Photo Credit: Gillian Insinga

Instead, he's in the hospital with third-degree burns on his legs, coming to terms with the loss of both feet.

The 18-year-old Branchville resident, a senior at Sussex County Tech, was dropping his girlfriend at home just before 1 a.m., Monday, June 3, when he struck a guardrail on Sunrise Mountain Road in Sandyston, his mom, Gillian Insinga, tells Daily Voice.

"He's not sure what happened," Insinga said. "He thinks something broke in his truck, because he couldn't slow down."

The truck overturned, ejecting Jack, who started to walk away from the crash scene.

But then, Jack returned to his vehicle. Out of confusion and shock from the accident, he'd forgotten whether or not she was still in the vehicle.

She wasn't, but Jack couldn't take any chances.

Jack worked his way back to his truck, and that's when things got worse. The vehicle had caught fire, the flames ravaging Jack's legs — his left foot already severely mangled from the impact of the accident.

As it turns out, Jack's girlfriend was on the phone, connected via bluetooth in his truck, Insinga said. She'd heard the accident happen, and while Jack was trying to save her, she was calling 9-1-1, and rushing to the scene.

She was saving him.

Jack was airlifted to Morristown Medical Center with third-degree burns on the lower half of his body and later transferred to Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, where the burned and dead skin was scraped off of his body last week.

A fundraiser launched to help Jack with financial expenses had raised more than $14,900 as of Friday, June 14. Jack's car insurance will not cover his medical expenses and he faces numerous out of pocket expenses, despite having health insurance, the campaign says.

Jack's left foot has already been amputated and, come next Monday, the right one will be too. Then, he'll need a skin graft. While Jack's pain is unbearable at times, his mom says he's otherwise in good spirits.

"The pain is excruciating and some days he can't take it anymore," Insinga says. "I wish I could be in that bed instead of him.

"Him being so positive and motivated makes a lot of things a lot easier," Insinga said. "He's telling everyone to calm down and that it's going to be okay."

Jack had been planning on going into welding after graduation. Hunting and fishing with his dogs was something that brought him joy. Getting back out there is a possibility, but his family fears that he will head back into the world, only to pay off insurmountable bills.

"We don't want him to go through this just to start life off in major debt," Insinga said.

"He is a hero in my book," she added. "I never thought someone could be so positive in this situation he makes me view life differently — I believe our whole family views life in a different aspect, he is an inspiration."

Once he recovers, Jack plans on continuing his life, just the way it was.

"He wants to live the exact same life he lived before," his mom said. "Now, he knows how valuable his life is."

To view the fundraiser, click here.

to follow Daily Voice Northern Highlands and receive free news updates.