Dental student pulls 5-year-old girl from fiery wreckage of NYC crash

A man who watched a speeding car flip and explode into flames on a Manhattan highway pulled a young girl from the wreckage as her father lay bleeding on the pavement.

Asher Rubinov, 25, a fourth-year student at NYU College of Dentistry, was heading home to Rego Park, Queens, when he spotted a reckless driver come up behind him on FDR Drive near E. 46th St. around 5:15 p.m. Monday, according to police.

The 30-year-old man behind the wheel of a 2022 Toyota sedan was zooming down in the shoulder and attempting to cut in front of Rubinov, cops said.

“He’s trying to squeeze back in going like 100 mph,” Rubinov recounted. “As I saw him in my rearview mirror, I was like, there’s no way he’s going to have space to do this.”

The Toyota driver lost control, striking a concrete wall on the shoulder — and Rubinov’s 2015 BMW.

The car cut across multiple lanes of traffic and flipped, police said.

“He went flying, he was airborne,” Rubinov said of the Toyota. “The car immediately catches on fire.”


The driver was thrown from the vehicle and onto the pavement, his car ablaze nearby.

“I see him lying face down, not really moving,” Rubinov said. “I thought he might have died. He was covered in blood.”

As Rubinov tried to help the man, he dialed 911. The dispatcher asked him if anyone else was in the car.

“The car was on fire for about a minute between the crash and me looking,” Rubinov said. “I see a little girl in the backseat.”


The 5-year-old girl couldn’t get out of her seatbelt on her own, Rubinov recalled.

“I lifted her up and took her out. By that time, her father basically got back to his feet.”

Rubinov handed the girl off to a woman watching the chaos unfold and in that moment, the flames grew stronger.

“Then the car started exploding,” he said. “It was a really, really bad scene.”

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Drivers backed up by the fiery crash gathered nearby.

“A lot of people were yelling at him for going fast,” Rubinov said. “He didn’t even know where he was. He kept asking everyone what happened. He had a huge bump on his forehead.”

The man and his daughter were transported to a local hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Rubinov said the crash was almost “unreal.”


“It was probably the craziest thing that ever happened to me, but I felt good about being able to help somebody,” he said. “I passed by that same place a few times already, and I can’t stop remembering it. It’s like I have PTSD.”

A police spokesperson could not comment on whether the speeding driver was issued any summonses.

“I definitely started driving slower since that happened, too,” Rubinov said.


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