Cell Phone Call To 9-1-1 Brings Hit And Run Driver To Justice

Cell Phone Call To 9-1-1 Brings Hit And Run Driver To Justice

Three Area Residents Win Verizon Wireless Safety Contest

May 17, 2001


Like most people, Rissa Privitera bought a wireless phone for safety and convenience-to have handy if she had a flat tire or to call the babysitter if she'd be late. The Manorville, NY, resident had no idea she would use the phone to call police for help after she witnessed a driver hit a woman and flee the accident.

"I saw the man hit the woman as she was walking on the side of the road," Privitera said. "I followed the car and called the police and ambulance. It was devastating to find out the woman had died, but I'm thankful I was able to testify and help her family see justice served."

To mark Wireless Safety Week (May 21- 28, 2001), Verizon Wireless today announced that Privitera is one of three winners selected in the company's "Wireless at Work for Safety" Contest. Each winner has received a $250 service credit which can be used toward all wireless products and services billed to their Verizon Wireless account. The two other winners are Catherine Recupero of Bronx, NY and Auryn Santiago of Newark, NJ.

Each day, more than 120,000 wireless 9-1-1 calls are made across the country to report a crime, medical emergency or traffic accident.

"The stories told by all three contest winners were moving examples of how a wireless phone can come to the aid of a person in a time of need and truly make a difference," said Charles Hand, president of Verizon Wireless' New York Metro Region. "Their stories bring to life how we've come to rely on wireless technology for safety, for helping others and for staying in touch with loved ones."

The winners were chosen from more than 450 entries received via e-mail and U.S. mail. The contest was announced in customer bills and open to all Verizon Wireless customers in the New York Metro Region which includes northern New Jersey, New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley. Another contest will be announced in late June.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 27 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.