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2 NJ State Troopers Save Choking Child

Cleve-Bryan-web-headshot Cleve Bryan
New Jersey Reporter Cleve Bryan joined CBS 3/CW Philly’s Eyewit...
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By Cleve Bryan

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) - A Trenton family has two New Jersey State Troopers to thank for saving their disabled son who was choking along the highway.

Sunday afternoon Filadelfo and Maricruz Estrada were driving to meet some friends for dinner.

They stopped at McDonald’s to pick up some chicken nuggets for their 13-year-old son Julian who was born with hydrocephalus.

Maricruz says he heard an unusual sound and turned to the backseat to see Julian gasping for air.

“Right away I look at him and I see that he is choking, so my husband pulled over right away and jumped from the truck,” says Estrada.

NJ State Troopers Ruben Benavidez and James Hearne were also driving on RT 129 and came across the Estradas struggling behind their truck to help their son breath.

“When I ran up there I got behind him and started the Heimlich,” says Trooper Hearne.

As he worked on dislodging the food from Julian’s throat, Trooper Benavidez with just 2 weeks experience on patrol handled traffic control, communication with dispatch and calming down the Estradas in Spanish.

“She started yelling and speaking in Spanish,” Benavidez, “try ripping a mother off a young son that’s choking and that’s not easy to do.”

He says clearly helping save a life is the most exciting thing to happen during his first few weeks as a state trooper.

The Estrada’s don’t believe the troopers being in the right place at the right time was just a coincidence.

“When the troopers come we think we see the angels coming,” say Maricruz Estrada.