NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A crash on Staten Island between an SUV and an ambulance ended tragically Monday night.
A BMW SUV traveling northbound on Hylan Boulevard collided head-on with a Staten Island University Hospital ambulance heading southbound just after 7 p.m. in Eltingville, police said.
Killed in the accident was the driver of the SUV, who was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene, and the 58-year-old driver of the ambulance.
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Witnesses told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian the SUV hopped the median and hit the ambulance, leaving the front of the ambulance crushed like an accordion.
Robert Genco was driving in the southbound lane next to the ambulance when he said he saw the speeding BMW hop the median.
“I felt the whole car like shake,” Genco said. “It hit the divider and lost control and just came over in the southbound lane.”
Genco said his car was sideswiped, but he escaped with just a scratch.
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Meanwhile, Tom Rosell said he heard the crash and was rattled. He ran outside to see the aftermath of the collision.
“It sounded like an explosion — a loud explosion — and then you could hear the glass flying,” he said. “I ran over to the ambulance tried to speak to the guys in the back of the bus, then tried to speak to the driver who was pinned inside.”
The two EMTs were driving a patient to Staten Island University Hospital.
Rosell said he climbed on top of the ambulance to try to extricate the trapped driver.
“He told me he was having trouble breathing. I tried to pry the door open a little bit and then the Fire Department came right away,” he said.
Paramedic David Restuccio, a retired FDNY EMS lieutenant who was a 9/11 first responder, was pronounced dead at the hospital. He was a 25-year veteran of the FDNY.
A second EMT was injured along with the patient. They are both expected to survive.