Yankee manager Girardi finds the time to be a good guy

This is not a religion story, but on a morning when many New Yorkers are thinking about the Yankees, it’s worth noting:

Hoa Nguyen

EASTCHESTER – On his way home from winning the World Series, Yankees Manager Joe Girardi stopped to help a woman who had lost control of her car on the Cross County Parkway and crashed into a wall.

“The guy wins the World Series, what does he do? He stops to help,” said Westchester County police officer Kathleen Cristiano, who was among the first to arrive at the accident scene. “It was totally surreal.”

tjndc5-5rps9begwgkdy75qg2m_layoutThe driver was stunned by the accident, but otherwise uninjured, police said.

The crash happened at 2:25 a.m. today on the eastbound lanes along a long blind curve where the Cross County meets the Hutchinson River Parkway prior to the New Rochelle Road exit, police said.

Police were in the area conducting a driving while intoxicated checkpoint on the parkway. In fact, about 15 minutes earlier, Girardi had passed through a driving while intoxicated checkpoint on the parkway. Cristiano, who was working the checkpoint, congratulated him on his first win as a manager and waved him through. He hadn’t been the only Yankees member to pass by the checkpoint. Pitcher Andy Pettitte also passed through earlier.

“He came through with a smile,” Cristiano said.

Cristiano, a self-described huge Yankees fan, said she hadn’t expect to see either one of then again. But then a 911 call came through about a car accident a short distance away, and so officers suspended the checkpoint and responded to the crash. As she came upon the accident scene, in an area where the parkway’s two lanes turn into three and cars speed by the curve that takes them to the Hutchinson Parkway, Cristiano spotted Girardi.

“He was jumping up and down, trying to flag me down,” she said. “You don’t expect him standing by a car accident trying to help.”

Cristiano said by the time she arrived, the driver, Marie Henry, 27, of Stratford, Conn., was able to get out of the crashed vehicle and declined to be taken to the hospital.

Girardi, who was dressed in a casual T-shirt and jeans, then told them he “had to get going.”

Cristiano and Henry both thanked him and watched as he ran across traffic again to reach his car.

“The driver didn’t know it was him until after I told her,” Cristiano said.

The area is notorious for its blind spots, and Girardi, who had parked his car along the right side of the parkway, and then run across the traffic to get to the injured motorist, put his life at risk, police said.

“He could have gotten killed,” county Sgt. Thomas McGurn said, adding that responding police units take extra precaution in that area because of the blind curve and speeding cars. “Traffic goes by at 80 mph.”

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.