Citizen award given for baby rescue

//Citizen award given for baby rescue

Citizen award given for baby rescue

TOMS RIVER: By Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press– William Copes received a proclamation from the mayor and Township Council and a glass statue from Police Chief Mitchell Little for his heroic actions in saving a baby from a car crash last month, but there was something else he wanted more than anything Tuesday night.
“Can I hold her? Is that allowed?” Copes, of Lakewood, asked the baby’s father, David Eisdorfer.
“Of course,” Eisdorfer said. In seconds, the six-month-old girl was in Copes’ arms, smiling and holding her rescuer’s arm while Copes and her father posed for photographs.
Eisdorfer’s wife — and Sussie’s mother — 28-year-old Leah Eisdorfer, was killed in the horrific March 9 crash on New Hampshire Avenue. Copes, 51, squeezed inside the smoking, badly battered minivan to rescue the baby girl, who was still strapped in her overturned car seat.
Using a utility knife passed to him by another man at the accident scene, Copes freed Sussie from the seats safety restraints and pulled her out of the wreckage.
“When I got to the scene he actually had cuts all over his arms from crawling into the car,” Chief Little said.
Leah Eisdorfer had been driving south on New Hampshire near North Maple Avenue when the minivan she was driving suddenly crossed the center line, left the roadway, hit several trees and came to rest on its side in a water retention basin.
Copes and his grown daughter, who was following behind him in her own vehicle, were returning home from a Toms River auto dealership when he heard the loud boom as the minivan crashed. Copes turned his car around and ran down the berm to reach the minivan, and the trapped baby.
The Eisdorfers and their three children had moved to Toms River’s North Dover section only a few weeks before the crash that took Leah Eisdorfer’s life. Police are still investigating the accident.
David Eisdorfer said the baby’s miraculous survival is helping him cope with his wife’s death.
Lakewood resident William Copes and six-month-old Sussie Eisdorfer, of Toms River. (Photo: Jean Mikle)
“God showed me how much he loves me,” Eisdorfer said. “He took away something so important, but he left behind something else important, too.”
Sussie suffered some cuts and bruises but was not seriously injured in the crash.
After Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher and council members presented Copes with his proclamation, Eisdorfer read from a card that he gave to his daughter’s rescuer.
“Whoever saves a life, it’s as if he saved an entire world,” Eisdorfer read, quoting a passage from the Talmud. He hugged Copes as the crowd in the meeting room gave him a standing ovation.
“I would just hope, you know, if anybody else came into you know, a situation like that, they would do the same thing, you know, to help another human being,” Copes said.
Jean Mikle: (732) 643-4050, jmikle@gannettnj.com
copes council meeting

By | 2016-04-13T11:54:13+00:00 April 13th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments