Safer in Iraq: New Jersey Paper on Man Hit By Two Cars Within Seconds

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A U.S. Army specialist who had just returned from Iraq was hit by one car and dragged a half-mile by a second one as he walked to his grandmother’s house.

“It’s amazing he’s still alive,” New Milford Police Lt. Michael Burns told The Record of Bergen County for today’s newspapers.

Andrew Rippe was trying to cross the road during a downpour around 6:30 a.m. yesterday when he was struck by Rebecca Pisano in her Chrysler, police said. The collision pushed him to the ground in the oncoming lane.

Roslyn Gottlieb was heading the other way in her Chrysler.

She told police she heard a thump, but figured it was just a piece of a cardboard under her car and kept driving to a convenience store for a cup of coffee.

Outside the shop, Michael Obertlik was sipping coffee and noticed Rippe trapped under the car.

“My friend thought it was a dummy — but I said, ‘That’s a real person. The man is still breathing,'” Obertlik said.

Rescue workers inflated air bags to take the car off Rippe, who broke a leg and lost skin in the accident. The 25-year-old, who describes himself on his MySpace page as “a real chill person,” was in serious condition at Hackensack University Medical Center yesterday.

Hospital officials did not immediately return a call today seeking information on Rippe. Police did not immediately return a call seeking information on whether any charges might be filed.

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