An ambulance driving through a Grand Avenue intersection with its siren blaring collided with a car Monday morning, injuring the patient, two crew members and the driver of the car, a Fire Department official said.
The 29-year-old unidentified driver of the car was listed in serious condition with back injuries at Elmhurst Hospital Tuesday afternoon, spokeswoman Lisa King said. Both EMS workers were treated and released.
Fire Department spokesman Robert Calise said the ambulance, an FDNY vehicle, had been transporting a patient who was taken to St. Johns Hospital in stable condition. A hospital spokeswoman could not confirm that the patient was admitted.
A BMW had been traveling westbound along the service road of the Long Island Expressway around 10:25 a.m. when it crashed into the ambulance, which was going through the traffic light with its sirens blaring and lights flashing, according to Jim OKane, a bystander.
The ambulance driver I feel was extremely cautious in the way he was proceeding, said OKane, who runs a real estate agency on Grand Avenue and was walking back from the bank at the time.
The ambulance, which was traveling northeast along Grand Avenue, proceeded slowly through the intersection after the two left lanes of service road traffic had stopped to let it pass, OKane said. But the car traveled along the far right lane and hit the front of the ambulance, deflecting off and landing on the side of the road alongside a brick plaza, he said.
This happened so quick, OKane said. I didnt think either driver had seen one another. It was just like, Boom.
OKane said large trucks in the left lanes appeared to obscure the drivers view of the ambulance.
Police Department spokesman Officer Guy Braun said the NYPD does not investigate accidents if there is no threat of a fatality.
Firefighters from HazMat 1, a fire company stationed only one block from the accident scene, immediately responded and extricated the driver from his car.
The car was heavily damaged along the front doors of both the drivers and passengers sides, as well as along the left of the front end.
Michelle Deis, a real estate saleswoman at a nearby agency, said she heard the crash from her office and called 911.
It was horrible, she said. I heard one hit and then I heard another bang, and then there were just people all over, she added, describing the crowd of about two dozen people that gathered at the scene.
The damaged BMW sat along the side of the road until about noon, when it was loaded onto a truck and removed from the scene.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2002 Community News Group
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