By Claire Walla
Some still say they are mystified as to how it happened, but Sag Harbor Village Police confirmed on Wednesday that Christopher Rolf, 59, of Bridgehampton was pinned under his own vehicle, a black Porsche Cayenne, outside Chopping Charlie’s on Long Island Avenue last Tuesday, February 28.
Jodi Cesta, 22, was in the area when she heard the accident, and was one of the first to arrive on the scene after it happened.
“I looked left and then I looked right, and all of a sudden he was underneath [the car],” she said.
Cesta went over to Rolf and said she and about five other people tried to extricate his pant leg from under the car’s left front tire.
“We all tried lifting the car up, but it wouldn’t lift off the guy,” she said. The group also attempted to use a jack, found in the man’s car, to lift the front bumper, but that proved fruitless, as well.
“He was just looking at me in the eyes, I’ll never forget that look,” she continued. “Like, please, you have to help me.”
Sag Harbor Fire Department, Sag Harbor Ambulance crews and Sag Harbor Village Police arrived on the scene and ultimately, Cesta said, EMS crews ended up borrowing her knife to cut the Rolf’s pant leg and free him from beneath the vehicle.
“It was weird, nobody else had a knife except me,” said Cesta, a landscaper, who added that she carries the lime-green knife with her at all times. “I just hope he’s ok.”
According to Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Tom Fabiano, who spoke to Rolf at the scene of the accident, Rolf was trying to see whether or not a store was open at the time the incident occurred.
“He had gotten out of the car and apparently the car was not in park, it was probably in reverse,” said Fabiano.
At that point, Fabiano noted, the car began to move and “he went back to try to stop it.” However, one of Rolf’s legs became caught beneath the front left tire of the vehicle, leaving him trapped beneath the wheel of his car.
According to Sag Harbor Fire Chief Pete Garypie, after part of Rolf’s pant leg was cut away and his leg was successfully removed from beneath the front left tire of the vehicle, Rolf was airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital.
Officials say Rolf remained fully conscious throughout the ordeal, but suffered damage to his pelvis.