Group Lifts 4,100-Pound Vehicle; Pinned Students Pulled Out, Hospitalized

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A group of good Samaritans came to the rescue Thursday morning after a SUV jumped a curb, striking a group of students in Queens.

It happened just before 8 a.m. about a block from Intermediate School 73 in Maspeth.

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A man was parking his Honda Pilot SUV on the corner of Grand Avenue and 71st Street to drop his child off at school when he hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, authorities said.

The SUV then jumped the curb, knocking down a parking meter before hitting several students who were walking outside of a bodega.

“I was right there coming out of the bus,” said student Melanie Huerta, who witnessed the crash. “If I took one step. I would’ve gotten crushed.”

That’s when a group of good Samaritans rushed to the scene and lifted the SUV, which weighs more than 4,100 pounds, to pull two of the students out from under the vehicle.

“I ran over there and as I ran over, I see two little girls under the car,” said David Foubister, one of the rescuers. “Me and like 10 other guys did our best to lift the car as best as we could and we got the girls out.”

“Community thing, community effort, you know what I mean? Everybody was there, around it, saw it, wanted the same thing — get the girls out,” Foubister told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

Lynx Garcia helped pull one of the girls out from under the SUV.

“Her body was twisted, her leg was twisted and she had an open gash in the back of her thigh,” Garcia said. “I grabbed her right arm and I told her she was going to be alright and another man, he grabbed her other arm and we pulled her out.”

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Five students, two boys and three girls, were taken to Elmhurst Hospital and are listed in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.

Injured 11-year-old Bajram Krcic later told Aiello what he saw.

“My friends getting ran over, me getting hurt, a lot of stuff,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said one of the students is 12 and the others are 13. They all go to I.S. 73. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said counselors were on hand at the school.

“I did talk to several of the families and I talked to several of the children and they’re progressing,” Walcott said. “One boy said to me ‘can I go to school tomorrow?’ His mother gave him a look like, are you serious? And so he is ready to go. The doctors will determine the next steps for that particular student.”

The driver remained on the scene. So far, no charges have been filed.

The Department of Transportation recently rolled out new safety initiatives around school zones for the school year.

The new measures include speed cameras, increased enforcement and reduced speed limits at various school zones around the city.

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