Redding pizzeria owner honored for helping driver stuck on train tracks

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A Redding pizza restaurant owner has been receiving attention from media outlets and the Boston Celtics for his rescue of a driver who got stuck on train tracks.

Tommy Costanzo, owner of Tomasinos Pizza N Pasta on Long Ridge Road, is a pizza maker and a grandpa, but on the night on Jan. 4, he played a different role. Costanzo saw that a driver made a wrong turn in the dark onto train tracks near his restaurant.

He told News 12 that his first thought was to use a jack to free the car, but then the arms came down, signaling that a train was coming.

“He was still sitting in the car trying to get it off and I was like, ‘Get the blank out of car! What are you, nuts?’” Costanzo said. “So, he got out and that train hit that car and sparks went flying.”

He said the driver was fine besides being a bit shaken up. His car, however, was crushed. After Costanzo did an interview with a local reporter at the scene, he didn’t think anything else would come of the incident. That was until his daughter showed him an article about it.

“My daughter says, ‘Dad you’re a hero?’” Costanzo said. “I said, ‘For what?’

He added, “And then she showed me an article and I said, ‘Get out of here,’ and then it just steamrolled.”

On Monday night, he was honored by the Massachusetts State Lottery and the Boston Celtics with a ‘Heroes Among Us’ award at the TD Garden. The award, which is presented at every Celtics home game, honors those who made contributions to their communities. Costanzo said that he doesn’t feel like he did anything, but he is enjoying the ride.

Costanzo told News 12 that the driver was a retired teacher and regular customer at his restaurant.




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