WALLINGTON, NJ — Antonio Rojas, 18, is a senior at Wallington High School who was in the right place at the right time.
The teen was sitting in his car on Orchard Street outside school on Nov. 2 after coming back from lunch when he spotted a driverless van rolling toward him. The driver had pulled over and got out, but was toppled by his own door when the van took off in reverse.
"He didn’t fully put it in park," said Rojas. "So I just quickly jumped out of my car, into his."
The driver did get up and he tried to chase after his van, but he couldn't catch it. Rojas leaped into the front seat and hit the brakes.
The van traveled about a block on its own, running through an intersection. It stopped short of some houses.
"Probably the car would have drove into two houses," said Rojas.
Rojas' classmates can be heard cheering on a video of the incident.
The driver did not appear to be hurt.
"He just said thank you," said Rojas. "And he got in his car and drove away."
"I wasn’t surprised that he did that," said Rojas' teacher and basketball coach, Charles Vellis. "When I saw the video of what happened, it doesn’t take it past me or past him to know that that's the type of player and person that he is."
Rojas will graduate next year. He plans to study cars and open his own business one day.