Man Miraculously Unharmed After Head-On Collision With Drunk Driver

By Reuvain Borchardt

Volvy’s GMC Yukon Denali, totaled in the crash.

NEW YORK — A Williamsburg man is grateful to be alive and unharmed after a head-on crash on the Thruway with an allegedly drunk driver.

Volvy, 42, (who declined to give his last name) was on his way home from work in Monsey on Thursday night, he tells Hamodia in an interview Monday. Around 10:45 p.m., he was driving his GMC Yukon Denali in Greenburgh, Westchester County, in the left lane of the New York State Thruway. That’s when he “came to a sharp curve, and all of a sudden I saw a car heading straight at me.”

Due to the curved road, Volvy says, he did not see the other car until it was “right in front of me. I didn’t even have a chance to turn the wheel. He crashed straight into me.”

Police later told Volvy they determined, likely due to data devices in both cars, that he was traveling just under 70 mph at the time of the crash, while the other vehicle was traveling just over 70 mph.

Volvy says he must have mkmentarily blacked out because he does not remember the immediate moment after impact, but that “for about 20 seconds I was spinning from one side of the road to the other.” The air bags deployed, and the car never flipped over, coming to a stop on the left-side divider.

The point of impact was the left front of his car, and he was unable to open his door to get out. The car began filling up with smoke. A bit panicked, Volvy at first tried punching out his window, bloodying his hand, then decided to climb out a back door.

The other vehicle came to a rest in the middle lane, about 100 feet away, Volvy says.

With his phone back in the smoke-filled car, Volvy just stood waiting on the shoulder, and police, likely called by a passing motorist, arrived about 10 minutes later with Emergency Medical Services.

Volvy told the EMT’s he was unhurt. But they simply did not believe him.

“They told me after seeing my car totaled like that, with this type of impact, it’s impossible I didn’t get injured,” Volvy recalls. EMT’s took him to Westchester Medical Center, where, he says, they reiterated to hospital staff that he must be hurt and likely had internal bleeding. He was forced to undergo an array of tests – and one after the other camd back negative.

“They were very surprised,” he says. “They kept saying they had never seen an accident like that where the person was not hurt.”

Volvy wasn’t discharged until 4:00 p.m. Friday — and even that required some pull from a local chaplain.

State Troopers arrested the other driver, Juan Sinchim, 38, of Port Chester, N.Y. and charged him with driving while intoxicated. He, too, was brought to Westchester Medical Center and later discharged.

It was a Shabbos that Volvy and his friends at the Divrei Yoel Stamar shtiebel will never forget.

He bentsched Gomel Shabbos morning and everyone danced to “Chasdei Hashem ki lo samnu.” Volvy says he is not suffering any trauma. “I am strong, Baruch Hashem. My wife is very emotional. She is more affected than me.”

Vovly believes he had zechusim working in his favor: Earlier that evening, a friend called him from the Lubavitccher Rebbe’s grave and said he was going to daven for him. And just minutes before the crash, he had been listening to a shiur from Rav Avigdor Miller.

“But most importantly,” he says, “what I feel saved me is that I am very nizhar in kibud av va’eim – I do this all the way. Every Friday night I walk half an hour to visit my parents. It says, ‘Kabeid es avicha v’es imecha l’maan yaarichum yamecha.’

“And that’s the best segulah — straight from the Torah.”

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