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Police: Airbag credited with saving choking man

From Jordana Ossad, CNN
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Airbag saves choking man
  • Airbag deployed during car wreck and dislodged a raisin that a man was choking on
  • Impact dislodged the raisin, "reviving the operator to consciousness"
  • Man suffered abrasion to wrist, while a woman in the accident is being treated for back injuries

(CNN) -- The impact of an airbag that deployed during a three-car accident is being credited with saving the life of a man, police say, dislodging a raisin that he was choking on while driving.

Richard Silvia, 53, an oil tank repairman from Falmouth, Massachusetts, lost consciousness and eventually control of his vehicle as a result of the apparent choking incident, according to a Falmouth police report filed Monday.

His car then careened into oncoming traffic, it said.

The impact of the airbag against Silvia's face and chest dislodged the raisin, "reviving the operator to consciousness," according to the report.

Police said Silvia suffered a minor abrasion on his wrist, while a woman involved in the accident is currently being treated for back injuries at a local hospital.

"Physically he's there, but mentally he's not," his fiancee, Lisa Dempsey, told CNN. "He won't eat at all since the accident unless somebody is there."

Neither Silvia nor the woman injured in the accident could be immediately reached for comment.