Newark public works employee honored for saving passed-out student
A longtime city of Newark public works employee who saved a passed-out University of Delaware student was honored last week by the Newark Morning Rotary Club.
The club presented its Service Above Self Award to John Bello for his actions in the early morning hours of March 4.
It was 4:30 a.m. and Bello, 55, had just left the city’s maintenance yard on Phillips Avenue to head to Main Street to clean. He usually drives his truck up South College Avenue, turns on East Delaware Avenue and then loops around to Main Street, but for some reason that morn- ing, he drove down Beverly Road.
It was pitch black outside when suddenly his headlights flashed over a woman’s body in the 200 block of Beverly Road. She was lying face down in the grass between the sidewalk and the road and wasn’t moving.
He got out of his truck and tried to wake her, but she didn’t open her eyes. She was breathing lightly, and he could tell that she was cold, wearing only jeans, boots and a shortsleeve blouse.
The temperature that morning was approximately 22 degrees, with a wind chill making it feel like 18 degrees.
Bello took off his jacket and draped it over the woman, got back into his truck and called police, who arrived a few minutes later.
The woman, later identified as a 19-year-old UD student who had been separated from her friends for several hours, was taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries, but paramedics said that if Bello hadn’t found her when he did, she could have died due to the cold temperatures and her level of intoxication.
“I’ve seen it on TV, you know, someone saving someone’s life, but to have it happen to you is a totally different feeling,” Bello told the Newark Post at the time.
Newark Morning Rotary Club President Robin Broomall (left) presents an award to John Bello, a Newark public works employee who saved a passed-out University of Delaware student.