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Monday, September 28, 2009

Everyday Tow Hero In MA

Tow truck driver Scott Nowlin of West Bridgewater in Needham, not far from Route 128, where he rescued a teen trapped in a car.

Kudos to Scott Nowlin of West Bridgewater who owns South Shore Towing for saving the life of one 16-year-old driver.

Here's the story from www.wickedlocal.com:

RANDOLPH - Brittany Biancuzzo was upside down and screaming — scared, disoriented and trapped, tugging on the seatbelt locked across her chest. The 16-year-old’s car had flipped over three times, landing inverted in the middle of Route 128 as cars flew by in the middle of the night.

Then a tow truck driver from West Bridgewater happened on the scene — and in the eyes of Brittany and her mother, helped save the teenager’s life.

“She saw these lights behind her and all of a sudden she heard this man’s voice,” said Brittany’s mother, Jaclyn Biancuzzo of Newton. “He said very calmly, ‘I’m going to help you. I’m going to help you.’”

The accident was on Thursday about 9 p.m. on Route 128, near Exit 17 in Needham. Biancuzzo, in a 2002 Honda Accord, was on her way home from work and had swerved to avoid some debris in the road, police said. Her car flipped when she tried to readjust the wheel.

The accident shut down all lanes of the highway except one.

When police arrived, Scott Nowlin — the tow truck driver who lives in West Bridgewater and owns South Shore Towing and Recovery in Randolph — had already freed Brittany Biancuzzo.

Another passer-by, who was a doctor, had checked the teenager for injuries and wrapped her in a blanket to keep her warm.

She was taken to Beth Israel Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham and treated for cuts and bruises.

Nowlin, for his part, was humble when reached Tuesday.

“I was just doing what I consider to be part of my job,” he said. “That’s my instinct. I just jump in and get it done. I don’t want to see anyone hurt.”

But Jaclyn Biancuzzo said her daughter described Nowlin as a true hero, who was in the right place at the right time.

The mother and daughter plan to thank Nowlin in person this weekend, having already done so by phone.

“Other cars had stopped, but nobody wanted to go into the middle of Route 128. He did,” Jaclyn Biancuzzo said. “It’s a miracle really. He actually put his life on the line.”

Nowlin said he initially didn’t realize someone was in the car.

But then Biancuzzo began honking the horn, and he saw her moving around inside.

Afraid the car might catch fire or that another driver might hit her, Nowlin grabbed a hammer from his tow truck, told Biancuzzo to cover her face, then smashed the driver’s side window.

He used a knife to cut the seatbelt loose, then grabbed Biancuzzo under her arms to pull her out.

Once Biancuzzo was in the care of police, Nowlin said he continued on his way. He had been heading to Newton — where the Biancuzzos are from — to pick up a vehicle that was going to be donated to charity.

A tow truck driver the past 25 years, Nowlin said he’s seen a lot on the roads.

And this is not the first time he has stepped in to help.

In the late 1990s, he said, he helped a state trooper and a passenger who got struck by a drunken driver while on the side of the highway.

Referring to Nowlin’s actions last week, state police Sgt. David Mahan said he could not say how often passers-by come to the aid of strangers.

“(But) it does happen, and thankfully it did happen on this occasion,” Sgt. Mahan said.

Jennifer Mann may be reached at jmann@ledger.com.

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