Brockton rescuer returns to crash scene to thank her ‘angel’
On Wednesday, for the second time in two days, Elizabeth Violanto went back to the crash site in Stoughton to find and speak to the man she considers an angel.
“I just wanted to find him and give him so much credit,” she said.
Her angel is Alisson Pimenta, 26, of Stoughton, who pulled Kathleen Manley of Stoughton from her burning car on Sunday moments before flames consumed the vehicle.
But if Pimenta is an angel, he’s an angel’s angel.
That’s because it was Violanto who is credited with spearheading the rescue effort that may have saved Manley’s life.
Violanto says she didn’t have time to think about danger at a crash scene in Stoughton early Sunday.
The Brockton woman said it never crossed her mind to not answer the cries for help. She just acted — quickly.
“I could never live with myself knowing that somebody died and I didn’t do anything about it,” Violanto, 29, said Wednesday.
But she said that while it was her decision to help that triggered similar reactions in those around her, she couldn’t have done it alone.
The drama began about 2 a.m. Sunday when Manley’s car hit a utility pole on Route 27, sheared the pole in half, brought down electrical wires, flipped onto its roof and caught fire.
Violanto and Pimenta were the first to reach the vehicle at 453 Park St.
“It was scary,” said Violanto.
As she desperately tried to pull open the car door, it became jammed while flames spread.
Suddenly Pimenta, of 453 Park St., Stoughton, ran down from his nearby house, yanked open the door, reached in and dragged Manley out.
“He was an angel,” Violanto said.
“I was not worried. I wanted to help take her from the car,” said Pimenta, a native of Brazil.
Pimenta pulled Manley away from the car. Violanto went to check the other side of the car to make sure no one else was inside.
Two other passersby, Tina Acciavatti, 23, and Denae Lambert, 25, were on their way home to Brockton when they saw the accident.
Acciavatti said Manley was flailing at her rescuers, and she and Lambert tried to calm her until the ambulance arrived. Lambert used her cell phone to call police.
“It became like a domino effect, once one person started helping, everybody else joined in,” Violanto said.
Within minutes, the car was engulfed in flames.
Manley, 48, was charged with drunken driving and a marked lane violation. She was taken to Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center. No information was released about her condition at her request, the hospital said.
Sue Scheible of GateHouse News Service contributed to this story. Maria Papadopoulos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.