11290907NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Imagine driving down Second Avenue the moment it seemed as if a bomb went off.
A Brooklyn man is grateful to be alive after his car took the brunt of the explosion in the East Village. But as CBS2’s Steve Langford exclusively reported, the injured driver had the presence of mind to help out a pedestrian who was in even greater need of medical assistance.
PHOTOS: East Village Explosion
“I thought it was like the Boston terrorist bombings. That was the first thing that came to mind,” said Nicholas Vendikos.
Vendikos was the driver of the car that pulled up in front of 121 Second Avenue the moment the building exploded Thursday afternoon.
“(How are you?) I’m alright; a little shaken up, aches and pains, my ears are still ringing,” he said.
The passenger side window of his car blew out instantly, blasting shards of glass into his scalp. But Vendikos noticed something else: a dazed pedestrian by his car.
“When the smoke cleared there was a young lady whose whole side of the face was all bloodied,” he recalled.
Vendikos said he told her to get in the car, so they could both get out of the there, Langford reported.
“And I just keep remembering her saying ‘Am I going to die? Am I going to die?'” he said.
Vendikos told Langford despite the chaotic scene unfolding around him, he knew helping the woman was “just the right thing to do.”
Vendikos said he’s seen the video of the explosion.
“You start seeing stuff that you didn’t realize while you were driving the car. You realize how big it was,” he said.
And wonder about who is responsible for the blast, Vendikos added. His attorney Dom Recchia wants answers.
“We’re preparing right now a lawsuit to be filed,” Recchia said.
But the man who drive by at the worst possible moment, is at least gratified he could help someone else.
“You know, she kept on hugging me, she kept on hugging my wife. She was a sweet girl,” he said.
Courage and compassion, under fire.