Victim in NJ black ice accident speaks to Action News

EWING, N.J. - December 2, 2010

It all happened at approximately 6:43 a.m. Thursday on the 1600 block of Pennington Road.

Police say 82-year-old Felix Soto of Ewing was traveling northbound in his 2000 GMC pickup truck. As he approached Woodland Avenue, Soto hit a patch of ice and lost control of his vehicle, causing the pickup to run over the curb and strike the front of Jane David's Salon. The collision caused minor damage to the building.

65-year-old Patricia Copeland of Ewing, who happened to be walking down the sidewalk, approached the vehicle to assist Soto out of the truck.

It was then that a 2010 Toyota Scion, operated by 26-year-old Jacqueline Strouse of Hamilton, was traveling northbound on Pennington Road. Her vehicle too slid on the ice, went up over the curb and hit both Soto and Copeland.

The Toyota was on top of Copeland, with the 3,000 pound vehicle on her left arm and chest for about 20 minutes before she was rescued.

"First, it was scary and then it was a lot of pressure. I just wanted to wiggle out from underneath it," Copeland told Action News in an exclusive interview.

"She was conscious and alert. She didn't complain of any pain. She seemed like she was in pretty good spirits," said Ptl. Patrick Wesner of the Ewing Police.

All three victims were taken to the Capital Health Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries. While Copeland suffered a broken leg, amazingly, no bones were broken where the car was on top of her.

Police say Soto claimed he was not seriously hurt and indicated he would continue on his way to work. Officers convinced him to go to the hospital to get checked out instead.

The roadway was shutdown between Central Avenue and Woodland Avenue while an investigation was conducted and so that NJ DOT could be dispatched with a salt truck.

The roadway was reopened at approximately 9:00 a.m.

When asked if she feels like a lucky person, Copeland responded, "I'm very blessed. Luck has nothing to do with it."

Just in case luck does have something to do with it, when Patricia gets out of the hospital, she says she plans to buy a lottery ticket and play the number 264.

That's the number of her hospital room.

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