On the July morning Brian Lotito slipped the surly bonds of this Earth after his motorcycle collided with another vehicle on Route 130 near Woodside Road, he was at peace.
More importantly for Paula Lotito, her son was not alone.
Thanks to Robbinsville resident Eric Steinberg.
"Eric said he prayed Jewish prayers over him," Paula said. "He said Brian was peaceful, and he held his hand as he slipped away. Who does that? This was a nightmare for Eric. He saw it. He heard it. But he stayed, and I am forever indebted to him."
Because of his selfless and compassionate act of human kindness, Eric Steinberg was presented with the first David L. Fried Humanitarian Award on November 28.
"Many of us may ask ourselves what we would do in such a moment, and deep inside our heart of hearts we all hope to do what Eric did for Brian and his family that morning," Mayor Fried said. "There is no plaque or medal big enough, no amount of words eloquent enough, to honor Eric for his humanitarianism on July 11."
Brian was a talented musician and vocalist and studied music and performing arts. According to his obituary, he was unique, driven and "an advocate for anyone that could not be one for themselves."
When the day comes we can gather again at another State of Robbinsville Township Pay it Forward event, Eric Steinberg will be the guest of honor. Paula Lotito and her family will be there, too.
"It could have been anyone. Eric would have done it for anyone," Paula said, holding back tears. "He would have stayed by their side. That’s just who he is. We are so grateful to Mayor Fried and the Township for creating this award for him. Eric is a man of grace and he will probably be embarrassed by all this, but if this motivates more people to be kind to others then this story needs to be told."