What are the odds that an Orange County nurse would be passing by when an SUV driver who lives barely 10 minutes away from her suffered a heart attack behind the wheel in New Jersey?
The Hyundai Kona was headed north on Route 17 in Wood-Ridge – more than 50 miles from the driver’s home -- when it suddenly came to rest against the divider Sunday afternoon, witnesses told police.
Among those rushing to the 64-year-old New Windsor driver's aid were registered nurse Diane Vinviguerra, who works at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan, and her husband, Antonio, both from Newburg.
Other passersby who joined them included two private ambulance workers Ariel and Yoni Sacknovitz from Long Island and an ESPN employee trained in emergency medical procedures.
Tyler Chapis, 27, of Bristol, CT smashed open the SUV's window so that he and the others could get to the unresponsive driver, Wood-Ridge Police Detective Michael Mueller told Daily Voice.
They were resuscitating him when police arrived with oxygen, Mueller said.
A hospital paramedic who also was passing by joined them and applied a defibrillator, the detective said.
"Soon after, the victim was breathing," Mueller said. "He eventually regained consciousness and was able to speak."
Chapis sustained a minor injury breaking the window and was treated at the scene, the detective said.
The victim appeared fine before being transported to the hospital, said.
"He even stood up and got on the stretcher," Mueller said. "How lucky is that?
"Everyone around him were emergency personnel to begin with. God was smiling on him."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.