When you get out of your car to help another in a car accident, there’s always a risk. Several people stopped to help driver Samantha Maloney, age 22 on Friday night after she was driving drunk and crashed her car into a divider. She was driving on Whitestone Expressway near the Grand Central intersection.
Various newspapers covered the accident, including the New York Post and Gothamist. According to the media, Samantha called her friend Victoria Garratt, also 22, to help her. When both gals were outside their cars surveying the damage, off-duty EMT Christopher Pierce pulled over to help them. Shortly afterward, an off-duty police officer crashed his car into Pierce’s vehicle, which set off a chain reaction. Victoria was struck and sent flying over the divider 30 feet onto the area below. She suffered serious injuries and is in critical condition at NY Presbyterian Hospital in Queens. Pierce suffered a broken arm and Maloney was not injured. However, after the crash, Maloney was in such a state of shock that she didn’t know what she was saying, according to a witness at the accident scene.
From a legal perspective, Maloney may be charged with reckless endangerment. She should’ve called 911 instead of a friend. Pierce, although he has been injured before at accident scenes, is happy to stop and help despite the risks. As an EMT, he is trained to assist people in desperate situations and takes pride in what he does. The off-duty police officer had also been drinking but tested at .02 BAC, which is not above the legal limit. He has not been charged and his name has been withheld. It appears Maloney bears the legal liability for the accident.