Apr 10, 2017

Crash Victim Meets IBPO Officer Who Saved His Life

Published in the Providence Journal
Written by Carol Kozma
Journal Staff Writer
 
LOCESTER, R.I.— Nicholas Morra, 22, remembers little about his car accident last fall. He was at Bo’s Bar and Billiard in Warwick playing pool until about 12:30 a.m., he said.

After dropping his friends off, he thinks he “nodded off.” As he took the ramp from Route 37 onto Route 295 North, he crashed.
That night, Morra lost his left leg. But had off-duty Coventry Police Officer Nicholas Bruno not seen the accident and stopped, Morra would have lost his life, too, his surgeon said.

“I can’t believe that I am still here,” said Morra, a recent University of Rhode Island graduate, who sat next to Bruno Wednesday in his mother’s living room. “I am very lucky.”

Unlike Morra, Bruno, 24, remembers the Oct. 29 accident well.

He was driving home on Route 295 North around 1:15 a.m. in Cranston, when he watched a car speed onto the highway and pull in front of him.
Bruno saw the sedan hit the guardrail on the right, spin across the highway and then hit the left guardrail.
Bruno pulled off to the side of the road and called 911. The driver of a tractor-trailer traveling behind him stopped traffic. Bruno headed for the Nissan. It was empty.

“I knew at that point that somebody got shot out of the car,” the officer said.

When he could not find the driver in the dark, he went to the other side of the highway, where the car had first hit a guardrail, and found Morra.
“He was unconscious, face down, on the pavement,” he said. Morra was breathing and Bruno could see the mangled left leg.
Bruno ran to his truck, got a tourniquet and ran back to Morra. He twisted the tourniquet, applying pressure to stop the bleeding.
Within minutes, Morra was loaded into a Cranston rescue ambulance, which sped off. Bruno gave a statement to a Rhode Island state trooper and then went home.

“I didn’t know whether he lived or died,” Bruno said Wednesday. He also didn’t know how to find out. It was not until months later, when Morra’s mother, Cathy Andrade, tracked him down to thank him.

“He’s a strong kid,” Bruno said.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to live through,” Andrade said of her son’s accident.

Morra’s injuries included four spinal fractures, a fractured left tibia and right femur, a ruptured bladder and one ear was almost severed. When Andrade thanked her son’s orthopedic surgeon, he told her it was the Good Samaritan who’d stopped who had saved her son.
“I owe him my life,” Andrade said of Bruno.

At the end of the month, Morra will have his sixth surgery, and after that he hopes to be fitted with a prosthetic.

To see the origional story along with a short video of the meeting, please click HERE



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Nicholas Morra meets IBPO Officer Nicholas Bruno Photo via Providence Journal
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