NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was back home and talking about his experience Tuesday, a day after he and his wife were injured when their car plunged off the elevated Cross Bronx Expressway extension in the Bronx.
The accident took place around 3:30 p.m. Monday near Brush Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard in the Unionport section of the Bronx, along the extension where the Bruckner Expressway comes up alongside the Cross Bronx Expressway.
As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, driver Carlos Broadbelt, 54, was in the car with his wife, Raquel Cruz. He said he hit a pothole, hit ice, and lost control.
His car plunged off the elevated expressway.
“It felt like the inside of the car – it was bright. It was like there were lights in there, and I think the airbag exploded.”
He fell 50 feet down to the Bruckner Boulevard service road. No one was more shocked than he.
“I was alive,” he said. “The first thing I did was check to see if my wife was fine, and she was.”
As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, Cruz said she could remember every second of the accident.
“I just saw when we hit the wall, and it crashed — the window shattered. Next thing I know, we flip up in the air, and we were over the wall,” she said, “and my husband is telling me, ‘Oh my God, we’re going down!’ and I just screamed out, ’Oh my God!’”
The Toyota Matrix was upside down on its way down, then flipped right-side up when the crash landing happened, Broadbelt said.
“There was no way that I could stop it. I tried. I tried to keep it straight,” Broadbelt said. “But after a while, the car was on its own. I had no control.”
Broadbelt said all he could do was hold on.
“You know, you don’t really think. You know, it just happens,” he said. “You just hope that it ends quick.”
Broadbelt’s concern was his wife. But moments after the impact, she was conscious and talking to him.
“She was asking me, ‘Let’s get out of the car,’ but I was trapped because the steering wheel was in my chest,” he said.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, Broadbelt left Jacobi Medical Center Tuesday afternoon.
“I’ve got two broken ribs – that’s nothing – and a sprained ankle,” he said.
Doctors said Monday they had never seen a car accident quite like the one Monday — not only that those inside survived it, but remaining alert and literally walked away from it.
“I am the luckiest man in the world, because I’m just lucky, man,” Broadbelt said.
Broadbelt and Cruz both said they were incredibly blessed.
“We made it,” Broadbelt said. “You know, we have a second chance, and God is great.”
“It’s just a miracle,” Cruz said. “I’m just glad we’re alive and we’re able to tell the story.”
A third person who was on the ground below was hit with debris from the flying vehicle. Doctors described those injuries as minor.
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