Heroic Hatzolah Volunteer Hailed for Saving Girl’s Life
Five girls were injured, some critically, when a van jumped the curb Monday afternoon, crashing into them as they played on a driveway and neighborhood sidewalk, officials said. One of the victims, a 9-year-old, was found unresponsive after the crash. Jacob Goldmunzer, a volunteer paramedic from New Square, was hailed as a hero for the life-saving actions he took at the scene. The driver, Rachid Elasri, 42, of Spring Valley, was uninjured in the crash, officials said. He was being interviewed by Ramapo police investigators Monday evening. He had not been charged in connection with the crash and was said to have a clean driver’s record. The crash occurred at 3:43 p.m. on Bush Lane in the densely populated Ramapo village. The youngsters, said to be one 7-year-old and four 9-year-olds, were on the sidewalk when a 2002 Ford Econoline veered off the road and struck them, police said. They suffered injuries ranging from bruises and cuts to broken bones and a head injury. Three of the girls, the 7-year-old and two 9-year-olds, were the most seriously injured and were taken to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. One of the three was treated Monday and released. The 7-year-old, who suffered a compound fracture of the femur, was to remain in the hospital Monday night, as was one of the 9-year-olds, who suffered a head injury, officials said. Both girls suffered critical injuries, but were said to be in stable condition Monday evening. Two other victims were taken to Nyack Hospital, where they were released after treatment, officials said. Ramapo Police Chief Peter Brower said during a news conference that the crash might have been the result of a mechanical malfunction. He said the van had been impounded and was to be inspected by state officials for potential safety and equipment violations. The van is owned by Five Star Home Medical Supply, a Monsey business at 419 Route 59. A woman answering the company’s phone shortly after the crash confirmed one of their vans had been involved and said Five Star’s owner was at the scene. Several messages left for comment later in the evening were not returned.

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