updated 08/28/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 08/28/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Once inside the disabled car, Brynes quickly tended to the passengers—Connecticut minister Dennis Smith, 32; his wife, Jacqueline, 33; Israeli tourist Tova Rosenzweig; and her son Asaf, 13—all of whom had suffered multiple injuries to the head, neck and back. Finally, Brynes and an ESU rescuer strapped the victims onto six-foot-long boards and passed the injured from the hole of the disabled car to rescuers waiting atop the adjoining car. (All four were admitted to Bellevue Hospital Center that afternoon. At press time, only the Smiths had been released.)
Brynes wasn't rattled at all until reporters descended in droves upon the newly declared local hero. After his trial by media, Brynes says, "I got my bike and started home to Brooklyn." There he received an earful from fiancée Robin Lind, 27, who playfully chastised him for not wearing a safety harness. "I said, 'I love you,' " says Lind, an executive assistant for Local 2507, the union that represents EMS workers. "But I also told him, don't even think about doing it again—unless you get a million-dollar insurance policy."