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Thursday, August 18, 2011

How did it get up there?! Truck gets stuck, hanging out of third-storey window


Dangling precariously from a third-floor window, this smashed truck looks like a prop in the dramatic finale of an action movie blockbuster.

Sadly for the driver, however, there was no Hollywood budget to cover the damages.

Incredible photographs have emerged showing the crash, caused by a 16-ton salt-spreading truck being rammed from inside a third story Sanitation Department repair shop in Queens, New York, into - and through - the outside wall.

A salt-spreading truck rammed through the wall of a Sanitation Department repair shop in an 'unfortunate accident'

Driver Robert Legall, who has worked at the Sanitation Department for 10 years, screamed for help as he dangled in his vehicle in mid-air but thankfully managed to escape unharmed.

Neighbours spoke of their shock after witnessing the accident this morning at 9.30am.

'I heard a loud bang and turned and I saw this truck sticking out of the side of the building,' Frank Almona, who owns a local repair shop, told the New York Post.

'The driver was screaming like crazy. He was saying, "Help, help, help". He was hanging on. He looked like he was in shock.'

Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty said the crash was simple an 'unfortunate accident'.

'There are signs up there warning drivers to slow down,' he said. He [Legall] is familiar with the rules and everyone needs to be safety conscious, so we think it was just an unfortunate accident.'

Fortunately the driver managed to escape unharmed after screaming for help

Frightening: A shot from inside the repair garage shows just how sharp an angle the truck was at

The huge truck, which is owned by the Department of Corrections and used to clear the roads at Rikers Island, was at the facility in Queens for repairs in preparation for the winter.

When the driver lost control, the vehicle sped through the wall of a repair bay, smashing huge chunks of the building onto parked cars below.

As it perched, hanging three-quarters of the way out of the building, two cars were crushed by the debris but no pedestrians were hurt.

The driver was pulled to safety by an FDNY cherry picker after three quarters of an hour and taken to Elmhurst Hospital in a stable condition.

Mr Doherty added: '[Legall] was lucky he didn’t go though that front windshield.

Holding onto the steering wheel saved his life. We’re all very fortunate. That’s the story of today. Everyone is alive.'

Dell Smith, 36, who works at a nearby company, said: 'The driver looked like he was really in shock. They had to bust out the driver’s side window and lift him out. He looked unconscious, and he was a big guy too. I’m glad he made it out alive.'

A mechanic injured the incident is taken to an ambulance

Damage: Remnants of the building landed on the cars below, writing off two vehicles



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