Four Manchester Township Police Officers are being hailed as heroes after saving the life of a tow truck driver who collapsed after responding to a car accident.

There was an accident with injuries last Thursday evening, around 10:38 pm, on Route 571 near Beacon Street.

Stephanie Bellotti, 25, of Manchester was heading eastbound in a Hyundai Sonata on Route 571 when she was hit by Caren Mcaleese, 54, of Manchester who was heading west and trying to turn left onto Beacon Street, police said.

The Hyundai Sonata hit the front-end of the Nissan Altima and as a result, both of the vehicles sustained extensive front-end damage and were disabled in the roadway.

Bellotti reported no injuries, while Mcaleese sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and was treated by Manchester Township EMS, Paramedics from Robert Wood Johnson Barnabus Health, and brought to Community Medical Center by Manchester EMS.

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As the crash investigation was wrapping up, police contacted Freedom Towing.

Police were helping remove the vehicles as well as debris from the roadway when suddenly the tow truck driver, 61-year old John Macchia of Bayville collapsed.

Then Manchester Police Patrolman Michael Steffen, Patrolman Kyle Rickvalsky, Patrolman Brendan Brush, and Patrolman Julian Meaney went to Macchia’s aid and determined that he was unconscious, not breathing and that he had no pulse.

The officer began CPR efforts and deployed an Automated Exterior Defibrillator.

Manchester Township Emergency Medical Service personnel and RWJ Barnabus Paramedics then responded to the scene to pick up on life-saving measures and patient care.

Maccia was later brought to Community Medical Center for treatment and police said that he is expected to make a full recovery.

Ptl. Brendan Brush of Toms River is sworn in as police officer in Manchester. (Manchester Police Department)
Ptl. Brendan Brush of Toms River is sworn in as a Manchester Police Officer in 2021. (Manchester Police Department)

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