By Naeisha Rose
Two people are counting their blessings after surviving a two-vehicle collision in St. Albans on Sunday that left one driver and a passenger trapped inside a flipped car.
Eyewitness Marie Slaughter, a veteran correction officer from Hollis, saw the incident at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 21 and helped to guide one of the two women out of the car.
Slaughter was driving in a Jeep with her 13-year-old daughter Antoinette and was behind the two women heading toward Mount Moriah AME Church in Cambria Heights.
“Me and my daughter were going to church and we were on 204th Street,” said Slaughter. “The ladies were in front of us at a stop sign, they stopped for a few minutes and then the proceeded past the yellow line. Another car came from out of nowhere speeding and hit them.”
Small, 67, of Hollis and her sister Edith McKoy, 52, of New Jersey, were hit so hard that it flipped on to its roof, according to Slaughter who started praying for the two women.
“I told my daughter that the corner is 204 and to call the police,” Slaughter said. “I saw the car with steam coming from it and said, ‘Oh my goodness!’”
The incident took place at the intersection of Murdock Avenue and 204th Street, according to an NYPD spokesperson. A 31-year-old operating a 2012 Hyundai collided into the 2012 Hyundai that Small was operating.
Slaughter had approached the flipped vehicle and Small had grabbed her left hand, according to the corrections officer. A man that lived nearby helped McKoy, and later got chairs for both sisters to sit in.
“She said ‘I don’t know if I am going to make it out,’” Slaughter said. “’I told her to hear my voice… and later she grabbed my hand,” added the corrections officer, who became emotional recounting the incident.
An EMS unit that happened to be five blocks away had turned around and arrived at the scene after Antoinette called 911, according to Slaughter.
The NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit arrived on the scene at 10:40 a.m. to assist with up-righting the vehicle.
Small, who was heading to a different church on Long Island, later hugged Slaughter, but the corrections officer doesn’t consider herself to be a hero.
“They hugged me and started crying,” said Slaughter. “God put me there at the right time because I usually don’t take that route.”
The sisters and the 31-year-old male passenger of the other vehicle were later sent to North Shore University for non-life threatening injuries, according to police.
Small’s daughter Michaela, 31, arrived at the scene after the accident.
“Well [my mom] is at her regular physician to get some more things checked,” she said. “Tomorrow she has an MRI scheduled.”
Both sisters have bruising, minor scratches, and minor headaches, according to Michaela.
“It’s minor now because, its been two days, but these things could have long-term effects,” she noted. “They came out in a miracle.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose