Mechanic Treated After Sanitation Truck Left Dangling From Building Wall In Maspeth

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The driver of a New York City Department of Sanitation truck is recovering following a frightening accident at a Queens depot.

Robert Legall was behind the wheel of a salt spreader when it crashed through the wall and windows of the depot’s second floor shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday. The vehicle dangled precariously and showered a group of cars parked below on 53rd Avenue, just east of 58th Street, with debris.

More than six hours after the incident, cranes and several heavy-duty trucks successfully lifted and pulled the truck back into the building, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported. An investigation into how the accident happened is still ongoing.

Officials said Legall was pulling the salt spreader into a repair bay when the truck kept going and smashed through the wall.

Alexander Aponte was less than a block away when he heard a loud bang and turned and saw the truck.

“Red transmission fluid pouring out, gasoline pouring out. I saw a bunch of smoke, I ran over, saw what was going on. All bricks were laying on the cars outside. It was crazy and then I heard screaming and I looked up and the guy was still in the truck,” Aponte told CBS 2’s Mark Morgan.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports on the freak accident

A sanitation truck hangs from a building in Maspeth - Queens, NY - Aug 17, 2011 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

A sanitation truck hangs from a building in Maspeth - Queens, NY - Aug 17, 2011 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

Rocco DiRico, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Sanitation, said Legall’s co-workers tried to keep him calm.

“The men, obviously his peers jump in and ‘take it easy, don’t worry, the Fire Department’s coming. This is New York City. You’re gonna be fine.’ And they coached him for about five minutes until the Fire Department arrived,” DiRico said.

Firefighters used towers and buckets to rescue the 56-year-old mechanic and 10-year veteran of the department. Legall was transported to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment before being released.

Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said Legalle was fine, but “shook up.”

Thankfully the only casualities were the four cars on the street below. CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reports one, a black Altima, was the brand new car of a sanitation worker’s girlfriend and her boyfriend borrowed it to bring to work Wednesday.

Sound off in our comments section below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. jp7ster says:

    IE

    It is 11377 Woodside…always was always will be.
    Maspeth starts on Maurice ave.behind CRS

  2. King Zohan says:

    Is that truck made by Toyota, cause you can always say the gas pedal got stuck as your way out.

  3. JGreen says:

    YIKES!

  4. goblin says:

    Work Safe, Work Union! Haha

  5. AIRBORNE says:

    I say he just put a whole other meaning to …” I’ve had it with this job, I’m out of here”
    He can count his blessings that the truck did not continue to go over.

  6. PT109 says:

    First of all he was 56 did you bother to read the article? Second of all if it were not for the department of sanitation you would be living in very smelly conditions. One should not take things for granted. We are very luckyy to our garbage collected some people just live in thier garbage and not by choice. And last, GET OVER THE SNOW STORM Witchie Poo. IF YOU KEEP LOOKING BACK IN LIFE WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN FRONT OF YOU? SABATAGE your future in case you could not figure that one out. Have you never made a mistake in your life? How would you like someone to throw it in you face long afterwards?????? Have a nice day.

  7. SAN MAN FROM QUEENS says:

    @bily320

    These trucks won’t start unless they are in neutral, so you idea that the truck was in gear is completely wrong. I drive the same truck for the Dept of Sanitation for over 23 years and I can only say either it was a mechanical failure or the operator was not paying attention while he was driving

  8. SAN MAN FROM QUEENS says:

    BRAKE FAILURE…. THAT’S WHY THIS TRUCK WAS IN THE REPAIR SHOP GETTING FIXED….

    1. brakes worked 100% driver error says:

      NO the brakes worked on truck you have to use them to have truck stop.

  9. Jimmy says:

    I thought it was in reverse!! I thought wrong!!

  10. shadowsinsider says:

    I say leave it…It adds character to the facade

  11. ProFromDover says:

    Oops!

  12. bily320 says:

    I worked for the Sanitation, some one left in gear and when you start it and release the air brake the truck takes off

    1. Safety first says:

      As a professional driver, the first thing you do is your pre-trip inspection. That would have caught the truck in gear, if that is what caused the accident.

    2. SAN MAN FROM QUEENS says:

      These trucks won’t start unless they are in neutral, so you idea that the truck was in gear is completely wrong. I drive the same truck for the Dept of Sanitation for over 23 years and I can only say either it was a mechanical failure or the operator was not paying attention while he was driving

  13. AKG says:

    This looks like the train crash in France in Montparnasse in 1895. Check out the pic:

  14. Andew was driving hahaha says:

    Adrew was that you driving lol you drawing attention to you.

  15. edy says:

    who was the stupid guy?

  16. Teddy De says:

    He was TRASH

  17. Boot stuffer says:

    I bet the hero fire friends stole his wallet

  18. Dan Te says:

    Was the driver talking on his cell phone or texting?

  19. IgnoranteElephante says:

    That is not Woodside. That is Maspeth. The caption under the picutre gets it right, but the title is wrong. CBS needs to stop disrespecting Queens neighborhoods by lumping them together.

    1. IgnoranteElephante says:

      Hey, CBS actually changed the title. Thank you.

      1. Mr. Politico says:

        yeah, we wouldn’t want to disrepect the “jewel of new york” would we?

      2. IgnoranteElephante says:

        No sir!

  20. Vik says:

    Hiccup — huh? ‘Nuf said. Anybody forget the snow storm when a bunch of Sanit Men were drinking six packs while we were burried in mountains of snow?

  21. Tim says:

    Maybe the Sanitation Dept should stop hiring 85-year-old garbage men. I realize that today they have to extend their social security payments, but maybe something less risky, like McDonald’s?

    1. Lisa Vitiello O says:

      Sorry but you have info wrong !! Driver was 40 !!! And yes many seniors can’t retire today !!! I know why do you ???

      1. Lisa Vitiello O says:

        O forget to post not drivers fault !! Something was wring with truck !!! I’m glad driver is ok !!!! Damage can be fixed !!! But people can’t be replaced !!!!

      2. Rugbyball says:

        @Lisa Vitello O said “But people can’t be replaced !!!! ”

        That’s not what my Boss tells us.🙂

  22. reilly says:

    The buildings these days are so cheaply made‼ There were two ladies in ALantic City lin 2010 or2009 who did the same thing using their Toyota camry.

  23. frankie paz says:

    Nice. If it was a cop or a firefighter you’d have been worried about his condition. Thanks for your concern.

    1. charlie says:

      pazmanian devil!!

  24. Hit the brakes says:

    I guess someone need a refresher course on reverse and drive and while they are at it brakes.

    1. Andrew says:

      ur an idiot

      1. andrews dad was driving says:

        It is true andrew if you press brakes truck will stop.Was it your relative that was driving is that why u so sensitive.

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