Pete thanks Ed Hoffman…

AS PETE CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY #37 MAY 14TH, he thanks Ed Hoffman, the Seaside Heights Police officer who responded to the call when Pete was accidentally hit by a car in the summer of 1974.

Pete thanks Ed Hoffman: If you like reading the stories on this page, then you might have to in part say thanks to Ed Hoffman. Ed has been in Ocean County law enforcement for decades, and recently spoke of one of his most memorable calls while working as a police officer in Seaside Heights. The call came in the summer of 1974: a three year-old child struck by a motor vehicle. Upon reaching the scene Ed and other volunteers had to lift the car off of the child, only to discover that it was the son of his superior officer, Captain Harry Smith. If you haven’t already figured it out, the child struck by the car was me, Pete Smith. I have always known that this incident happened, but was short on specific details until I recently met up with Ed Hoffman. Ed says the car was a Corvette(at least I went down in style) and that I was completely under the car, but miraculously alert, conscious, and not seriously injured. Ed says I didn’t even cry, but rather took it in great stride, but was soon asking for my mother. It turns out I was quite a little escape artist, notorious for taking off when I thought no one was watching. As the story goes, I had gone around the corner to see one of my numerous neighborhood summer friends, and had tried to cross Blaine Avenue between two parked cars when the incident happened. I have absolutely no memory of the actual accident itself, but I do recall being in the hospital afterwards. Because I would not stay in the bed, the hospital staff put me in a special metal cage so I couldn’t get away. What I remember most was the food: the nurses fed me toast and jam, my father brought me an enormous Hershey bar, and took me to Burger King on the way home. I also remember that when I did go home, it was like an inescapable prison, so there would be no chance of a repeat incident. 34 years have passed since the accident, as of May 14th, I will be 37 years old. Coincidentally, through my job at Seaside Heights Public Relations, this month I will be helping host 101 Safe Days of Summer along with the Ocean County Department of Traffic Safety, promoting among other topics, pedestrian safety.

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IT WASN’T PETE’S TIME in 1974, when he narrowly escaped serious injury or worse, being hit and pinned underneath a Corvette on Blaine Avenue.

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