NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A sports utility vehicle jumped a curb in Queens on Friday morning, plowing down a pedestrian before crashing into a doctor’s office.
Surveillance video obtained by CBS2 shows a man walking down Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria around 10 a.m. Friday when the Jeep Cherokee plows into him, pinning him against the wall of the office.
“His legs protruding up. It was insane,” witness Elizabeth Finnerty said.
Finnerty was one of many nearby store owners, residents and passerbies who rushed to help.
Officials say if the building was made from other materials, the man might not have survived, CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported.
“It wasn’t a cinder block wall. It’s just wooden and lightly coated, so it was able to give way, and that virtually saved his life,” Finnerty said.
Dr. N.D. Wruble said he’s never experienced anything like this in the 37 years that he’s been at the location.
No one inside the building was injured.
Wruble said there were three staff members inside with a few patients in the waiting room and it is fortunate that no one was using the X-ray room at the time the Jeep plowed into it.
“It sounded like an explosion and everybody just ran to make sure everybody else was OK and everybody was,” Wruble said. “It’s a little bit miraculous that we weren’t using that room.”
The driver of the Jeep is an elderly patient of his whom he had just spoken with a few minutes before the crash, Wruble said.
Police believe he accidentally pressed the gas pedal instead of braking after pulling out of a parking spot, Borg reported.
The driver was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with serious injuries. He and the pedestrian are expected to be OK.
The Jeep has been towed from the scene.
Meanwhile, people walking by were taking pictures of the damage, knowing that it could have been them strolling down the street.
Steinway Diagnostic Imaging is expected to be closed for a week while repairs are made to the building and equipment.