Retired New York firefighter saves driver from Gowanus Canal drowning death.

New York, NY(Justice News Flash )–A veteran New York firefighter jumped into the highly polluted and toxic Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn on Saturday to pull a driver from the waters after a car crash. As reported by the New York Daily News, after pulling the injured driver from the dangerously polluted canal waters, the heroic fireman, Richard Staiti, of Engine 239 in Park Slope, swam the water in search of children the driver claimed were passengers in the wrecked car.

The driver of the sinking Volvo, 30 year-old Elio Campa, crashed his car into the putrid canal at about 12:30 a.m. on Saturday. Staiti swam the waters for 20 minutes in search of the “kids” in the car. Campa was disoriented and rambling at the crash scene and Staiti discovered no children or any other passengers were in the car at the time of the automobile accident. NYPD police say Campa, a Queens courthouse security guard in Jamiaca, had left a visitation with his daughter in Starrett City some time before he crashed the car into the canal

The driver was transported by emergency medical personnel to New York Methodist Hospital for treatment of his head injury. He was later charged with drunk driving by NYPD motor vehicle collision (MVC) officers. The veteran Brooklyn firefighter had to go through an hour long decontamination process and receive two shots because he swallowed the toxic canal water in his rescue efforts. The Gowanus Canal is known for its high levels of cancer causing PCBs, raw sewage, venereal bacteria, and is being considered, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a Superfund designation. The federal government’s Superfund list is for the most toxic environmental areas in the nation. Superfund designated sites require immediate clean-up attention by state and federal regulators and the companies responsible for the harmful pollution because they pose a serious injury threat to area residents and consumers.

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