NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A tractor-trailer smacked into the railing on the edge of the elevated part of Park Avenue that wraps around Grand Central Terminal on Tuesday afternoon, sending chunks of concrete tumbling onto the sidewalk below.
Truck driver Joe He’bert had never taken his 18-wheeler into the city before and never saw the sign telling him only passenger cars were allowed on the elevated section of Park Avenue, where his rig ran out of room.
“I’m sorry for what I did — accidents happen,” he told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
He’bert said his truck simply “got caught” trying to make the sharp turn.
Despite the accident occurring in a busy area at the beginning of rush hour, there were no injuries. The sound was enough to send people scattering quickly, which likely saved them from the falling pieces.
“Everyone was running and it was right out of a movie,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon.
1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Reports
That woman told Rincon it took everyone a few minutes to realize what happened.
“People were speculating — ‘Was it a bomb? Was it this, was it that?’ and thankfully it wasn’t anything like that. No terrorist attack. But I’m pretty sure that was the first thing that came to everyone’s mind,” she said.
The incident did close 42nd Street between Madison and Lexington avenues as well as a stretch of Park Avenue for some time on Tuesday. However, workers were expected to have the area reopened for the morning rush. Scaffolding was put up and workers will return on Wednesday to try and rebuild the concrete wall that came crashing down.
“It sounded like an explosion,” witness Stephen Sanders told CBS 2’s Hennessey.
“If someone was under there they would have died. It would have been over,” Daquan Johnson said.
He’bert, who travels with his wife and dog, left the city with traffic citations, mindful that what happened could have been so much worse.
“I’m glad nobody got hurt,” he said.