October 30, 2009

The Hero from Elmhurst

Monique Chartier

Catching up on yesterday's ProJo this morning, I came across this jawdropper development to the terrible story of two men hit and one man impaled in a windshield.

[Albert] Garcia was approaching the Branch Avenue exit, on his way to pick up his brother at a Providence club Saturday night when he saw a two-car crash, “a football field away,” in the high-speed lane on Route 95 south.

Garcia said he saw the Honda Civic “on the left, going about 75 mph.”

“He tried to brake a couple of times and tried to move to the middle lane,” said Garcia. Then Garcia saw the car, driven by Christopher J. Swiridowsky, hit two men standing outside crashed cars.

“One I saw on the middle of the road,” Garcia said. “The other, I never saw again.”

Motorists stopped to help the victims.

Swiridowsky appeared to stop briefly, Garcia said, but then sped off, taking the Branch Avenue exit.

Garcia said he thought of staying to help the victims, but decided instead to chase the car.

“It was late at night. It was dark, and it was a black car,” Garcia recalled, adding, “Nobody is going to get this guy’s plate. This guy’s going to get away.”

Driven by adrenaline, Garcia followed the car off the highway onto Branch Avenue.“I got a license plate, but I was so nervous that I couldn’t write it down, couldn’t find a pen” and couldn’t juggle the cell phone.

So, he stayed on Swiridowsky’s tail until the car pulled into the National Office Products parking lot on Mechanics Avenue a mile and a half away from the crash site. He positioned his car behind Swiridowsky’s, blocking it.

Reacting to the initial report of the accident, Providence EMT Michael Morse over at Rescuing Providence observed

I don’t know if it is a Providence thing, but over half of the MVA’s we respond to are hit and runs. It doesn’t matter the severity, some people are so self consumed they just don’t care if another human being lives or dies.

Were it not for the focus and bravery of one man, a depraved, reckless scumbag might not have been brought to account.

Bravo, Albert Garcia.

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First, Albert Garcia deserves his props. When face with a moral challenge, he passed with honors. No one can fault his frailty for being nervous and fumbling for a pen, etc,... I believe I might act exactly as he did.

My neighbor's niece was also hit by a hit and run and again a good Samaritan chased down the car. Case pending.

Maybe Providence EMT Michael Morse over at Rescuing Providence should voice what he might believe as to why 1/2 of MVA's in Providence are hit 'n runs.

Maybe because of the overwhelming number of illegal aliens who are now afraid of 287g even though EMT's aren't under that plan?

Posted by: Roland at October 30, 2009 3:37 PM

I think it has to do more with insurance rates than illegal immigration.

The vast majority of people under 30 that I know drive uninsured, mostly because getting caught without insurance is cheaper than buying insurance here.

As I just posted in another story, from age 18 through 24 I paid $2,400 a year to insure a used Focus, and I've never had a ticket or an accident. Now that I have a home as collateral, it has dropped to just under double the national average.

If half of the people weren't driving illegally (insurance, not immigration), I'm sure more would stop, do the right thing, and let the law take its course.

Posted by: mangeek at October 30, 2009 4:25 PM

mangeek, I thought the financial liability waiver was dropped years ago. When I was a kid, it was either insurance or $20K in an account. Of course, no one ever checked.

I thought because they made it mandatory to register (perhaps this is the sliphole) a vehicle without proof of insurance.

Did they drop the financial liability waiver?

I still maintain that it's because of the inordinate number of illegals.

Posted by: Roland at October 30, 2009 4:48 PM

Roland, I believe the trick now is to register, pay for a month of insurance, and then cancel it, but keep the card.

You can also sweet-talk most police, especially if you're female and white.

As far as I know, the fine for not having insurance is $500. The average cost of car insurance in Rhode Island is well over $1,000 annually. The risk of getting caught is pretty low, as far as I've heard.

I'm rapidly becoming the Anchor Rising authority on vice... I can assure you all that I'm a law-abiding dude myself. :-)

Posted by: mangeek at October 30, 2009 5:43 PM

Roland-it's a little bit of both:insurance rates in RI are extortionate and there certainly a lot of illegals riding around in unregistered cars(they just get plates from wherever),without licenses,and uninsured.Forget about uninspected.
If you take your chances crossing the border and truting a smuggler to get you here in one piece,what's a traffic violation?
You aren't going to show up in court,and if you get stopped in Providence,Esserman will protect you(not blaming the rank and file here at all),and even if you're turned over to ICE,unless you're a fugitive or convicted criminal,you'll get a hearing date for three years from now.
I wonder how much empathy Jerzyk,Crowley,or Nancy Green will have if a drunken illegal in an uninsured vehicle slams into them.It's not like getting hit by a meteorite-it happens every day.
Insurance used to be optional in RI.That was a nightmare for insurers who had to sweat uninsured driver claims.My company won't write policies in RI unless you moved here already insured by them.I've had the same insurance company for 36 years and I have nothing but good things to say about them.
There are also numerous good old US citizens and resident aliens who hit the road drunk,high,uninsured,etc.
I think it is a RHODE ISLAND problem.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 30, 2009 6:01 PM

"Insurance used to be optional in RI."

Insurance is currently optional in NH. The world doesn't end.

I certainly would not buy it if I didn't have to. It's a colossal waste of money for me.

Posted by: Dan at October 30, 2009 7:17 PM

Dan, there's a zero percent chance that you get into a car accident and you're found to be at fault and end up maiming someone? That "colossal waste" of money isn't worth the risk of losing your house and garnished wages for a long time?

Posted by: Patrick at October 30, 2009 8:07 PM

Patrick-some people are "judgment-proof"meaning they haven't really got any assets that can be attached,maybe not wages either.I would think if someone is on disability or workmen's comp,it would be hard to garnish that.
I don't know if a judgment can be executed on future assets,because I'm not a lawyer.
I am not assuming anything about Dan-he actually sounds like a lot of people I know.They don't realize that even if you're a good driver you can be hit with a fraudulent claim.
It happened to my wife-a scumbag lying woman filed a fraudulent suit.It was nice to have an insurance company that took her on and provided a good attorney.
After 4 years of crap(she went through 3 attorneys)a Superior Court jury found my wife was not negligent to any degree.
The creep left empty handed,and so did the greasy shyster representing her.The jury was out a whole 20 minutes.
Oh,yeah,she was a school teacher.Nice.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 30, 2009 9:44 PM

Okay, maybe I've had insurance for too long to remember not having it.

When you cancel your insurance, isn't the insurance company required to notify the DMV(to revoke your registration), your town(for tax purposes) and the State Police(well, just because)?

I believe that is to be the case but I honestly do not remember if step 3 comes from the insurance agent or the town that notifies the State Police.

Joe, you are so correct about the chances illegals take just to get here nevermind a moving vehicle infraction. I watch quite a bit of YouTube regarding the illegals in California and they are taught not to ever register a vehicle and never own a vehicle they cannot afford to loose. When involved in an accident and you cannot get away, they are taught just to abandon it and RUN!!!!!

Posted by: Roland at October 31, 2009 12:47 AM

What's 287g?

It is easy to blame everything on illegals. But in case you haven't noticed society is crumbling around us, good ole homegrown law breaking American folk are just as likely to drive uninsured. The hit and run driver in the case we are discussing sounds like a person from Polish descent, or at least his name does.

Posted by: michael at October 31, 2009 9:41 AM

Michael-no one in their right mind disputes that we have got no shortage of homegrown lawbreakers,but why just tolerate more here that have no dmn right to be here to begin with?
a lot of media types appraoch the illegal alien question like the aliens have some "homesteader" rights here.Nope.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 31, 2009 2:00 PM

Roger That, Joe.

Posted by: michael at October 31, 2009 2:32 PM

Michael, 287g is a program agreement between ICE and local law enforcement of which the RI State Police has voluntarily signed onto and it affords them the same rights as an ICE agent if a person gives reason to be suspected of being an illegal alien except for the actual deportation.

The fallout of their presence is like gravy to the advocates who want to quantify the argument and make comparative steps to keep the debate going.

There will always be the anarchist and blame-proof Americans. But at least they're legal.

Posted by: Roland at October 31, 2009 4:35 PM

Kudos to Mr. Garcia.

Turns out you don't need free healthcare for life, a Pension that allows you to Retire in your 40s or 50s and all the Overtime you want in order to "put your life on the line". Hmmm, imagine that.

I wonder if Paul Doughty, Tom Kenney & Co. are paying attention.

Posted by: George Elbow at November 1, 2009 5:58 PM
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