Good Samaritan speaks about crash that killed 80-year-old man in Pompano Beach

Todd Moore helps pull driver out of car

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – A good Samaritan risked his own safety Friday night to try to save a driver who was trapped after a crash in Pompano Beach.

"I heard screeching tires that lasted for five seconds," Todd Moore said. "And then I heard, 'Bam.'"

The crash was reported just before 7 p.m. in the area of Northeast 14th Street and 27th Terrace.

Deputies said the victim, James Stewart, 80, was heading west on 14th Street and attempting to turn south onto 27th Terrace when his Lexus was struck by a BMW that was headed east in the right lane.

"I went to get the door and I pulled on the door and I couldn't get it because it was jammed," Moore said. "I couldn't get it, and I was like, 'You're not dying on me.' Something came over me and I just ripped the door open, and then I just grabbed him out, squared him up and said, 'Hey, is there anyone in your car?'"

Witnesses scoured the scene to help the victim in the other vehicle while Moore pulled the driver to safety.

"The car was double T-boned," Moore said.

Within 10 minutes, emergency crews arrived.

Stewart was pronounced dead at the scene and the other driver, Maxx Berstein, 28, of Coral Springs, was taken to Broward Health North, where he was treated and released.

"(Stewart) was never responsive, and when I saw him, he was white as a ghost," Moore said. 

Moore, a retired New York City auxiliary police officer, said his 20 years of police training gave him the knowledge and experience to know what to do.

"I'd do it again. You know, the bottom line is that a human life is on the line, and, you know, you can't sit there and watch someone suffer. You got to do something about it. That's community, that's humanity and that's what I'm about," Moore said. 

Detectives said the investigation into the crash remains open. Anyone with information is asked to call Traffic Homicide Detective Anthony Morales at 954-321-4844 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

About the Authors: