Troopers pull over to save choking child

Click to watch the report from Action News
October 23, 2013 4:46:57 PM PDT
It's not often that we can witness lifesaving heroism, but that's just what you can see on video from the dashboard camera of a New Jersey State Police car.

The incident occurred around 4:00 p.m. Sunday as the Estrada family was driving from their home in Florence to a friend's house in Trenton.

Filadelfo and Maricruz heard their 13-year-old son, Julian, who has special needs, choking on a chicken nugget as he sat in the backseat.

"I turned back and seen he can't breathe," Maricruz said.

"I started to push on his belly and when I felt that no air was pumping out, I got really scared," Filadelfo said.

And that's when Trooper James Hearne and rookie Trooper Ruben Benavidez arrived atthe intersection of Lalor Street and Route 129.

"When I ran up there, I got behind him, started the Heimlich. After several thrusts, food started coming up, basically, a big piece of chicken nugget came out," Trooper Hearne said.

Trooper Benavidez has only been on the force for two weeks.

While Trooper Hearne treated Julian, Benavidez stayed on the radio, directed traffic out of the way, and calmed Julian's distraught mother.

"She speaks English very well, but at that time, her native tongue came out. She was yelling and screaming in Spanish, as any mom would," Trooper Benavidez said.

Once the chicken nugget was dislodged, Julian quickly caught his breath and returned to himself. He didn't even have to go to the hospital.

On Wednesday, the family reunited with the troopers.

The troopers gave Julian a souvenir sweatshirt.

The troopers aren't calling themselves heroes. They say their training just kicked in and they did what anyone would've done in their place.


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