Before he died in a tragic, snowstorm-related accident this week, veteran North Brunswick firefighter and race-car enthusiast Thomas Serinese finished up an enduring project with his father, Mario.
It took the two of them 10 years. But they finally wrapped up the complete restoration of a 1941 John Deere tractor.
“He loved working on that thing,” said Mario Serinese on Thursday as he and his wife, Janice, discussed funeral arrangements for their son with Tom’s sisters Darlene Morrow of North Hanover and Linda Kasain of Bordentown.
“He and I started the tractor together. We started it 10 years ago. It’s a small one. And we finally just now got it done,” the grieving father said from his home in Ringoes in Hunterdon County.
“It was a terrible accident,” Mario said of the moment Wednesday morning when the younger Serinese was fatally injured at work while clearing snow from a tilt-back car carrier.
A fellow worker sent the bed of the carrier into its “down” mode, unaware Serinese was nearby. Serinese was pinned against the truck.
The incident happened where Serinese, 47, held down his day job as a tow-truck driver for Coppa’s Service Center & Towing Inc. on Route 1 in North Brunswick.
Our prayers go out for the family as they grieve the loss.