Two WPI Students Demonstrate Heroism


As reported in a recent article in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, there are heroes on WPI’s campus. 

On Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 a.m., a car rear-ended another at the nearby intersection of Park Avenue and Institute Road.  The accident caused the impacted car to burst into flames, trapping a 61-year-old woman inside the car.  The sound of the impact spurred Matthew Zubiel and Ernest Mello, two WPI first-year students, into action.

The article details how Zubiel heard the explosion while in his room at Stoddard C.  According to the piece, he and another student – who has since been identified as Mello – ran down the street where they saw several people standing around a car that was on fire.  The WPI students observed flames and smoke in the car and yelled to the other people on the scene that that the woman needed to be moved.  After working with the other responders to smash through a window, the two men removed the woman from the burning car and brought her to safety by the side of the road.  Immediately following her rescue, the car became fully engulfed in flames.  Zubiel said that the woman appeared to be badly burned, but was alert and talking; she was rushed to UMass Memorial Medical Center, and as of this weekend, was still listed in serious condition.  The Telegram & Gazette reported Zubiel as saying   “I had tunnel vision.  All I could see was the car on fire.”

Zubiel has been a firefighter explorer in his native Colorado since he was 14 years-old.  He is now an Electrical and Computer Engineering major and is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.  Mello is a Mechanical Engineering major and a member of the WPI football team. 

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