For Immediate Release
Monday, October 19, 2020
Incident: Couple Rescued from Vehicle Submerged in Canal
Location: Venetian Promenade and Montauk Highway, Lindenhurst
Date/Time: Monday, October 19, 2020 at approximately 12:10 p.

Two Suffolk County Police officers, a Lake Success Police officer and five good Samaritans rescued a couple from their vehicle after it became submerged in a Lindenhurst canal following a motor vehicle crash.


A 2018 Ford pickup and 2016 Subaru were involved in a motor vehicle crash at Venetian Promenade and Montauk Highway at approximately 12:10 p.m. Following the crash, the driver of the Subaru backed up his vehicle into eastbound Montauk Highway, where it was struck by a 2004 Mercury.


The Mercury then crashed through a fence and into a canal.


Five good Samaritans, off-duty Suffolk County Police Officer John Tighe and on-duty Suffolk County Police Officer Debra Gearon jumped into the water and pulled the driver, Joseph Abitabile, 78, from the vehicle. Rescuers broke a window to extricate Abitabile’s wife, Delores, 76, who was unconscious.


Off duty Lake Success Police Officer Robert Russo performed CPR on the woman and her pulse and breathing were restored.


The Abitabiles, of Massapequa, one good Samaritan, the two Suffolk County Police officers, and the driver of the Subaru, Morris Kramer, 85, of Atlantic Beach, were transported to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Ford, Greg Destefano, was not injured.


Authority: Geraldine Hart, Commissioner 20-523338
Suffolk County Police Department

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