A fitness consultant was being hailed a hero after his calm and swift actions possibly saved lives after an SUV barreled into a South Jersey jewelry store over the summer.
The whole incident happened the morning of July 30 at Jay Roberts Jewelers on Route 73 in Marlton, N.J.
The terrifying moments of impact as a car traveling up to 50 mph crashed into the front window of the store were all caught on surveillance video as the vehicle crashed through a front window, shattering glass and crumbling jewelry cases like an accordion.
“The car was still coming, I just started to scream, ‘shut it off, shut it off,’ ” employee Olivia Pantalone said.
Pantalone and fellow employee Joan Morein could have been killed in the crash were it not for the quick thinking of Anthony Baynard, a fitness consultant from Texas who just happened to be in New Jersey at the time of the crash.
Bernard quickly sprang calmly into action taking the driver’s foot off the accelerator and turning off the engine.
“(The driver) said, ‘Young man did I kill anybody?’” said Bernard. “What I told her was — not knowing anything was, ‘No ma'am, everybody is fine.”
Baynard was able to carry Morein out of the rubble.
But Pantalone was still in trouble — pushed under a pile of debris.
“She was laying there pretty motionless at first,” said store owner Jake Spigelman. “I actually froze because I thought she was dead under there.”
Baynard lifted Pantalone out of the debris, wrapping her wrist in a tourniquet and guiding her to hold her hands in the air.
“I was losing a lot of blood and he did save my life — he acted very quickly, very unselfishly,” Pantalone said Tuesday at a ceremony honoring Baynard.
“I could tell from the blood I wanted to secure the area, keep it above her head just till fire and EMT could get there,” Bernard said.
Once emergency officials arrived, Baynard updated them on the victims’ conditions.
Baynard received a hero proclamation Tuesday night from Evesham Township.
For his courageous action, Baynard was given a wristwatch engraved with “to our hero,” care of the folks at the jewelers.
“If it wasn't for him I don't know if I would be here,” Pantalone said.