NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An irate driver got into a fire truck and assaulted an FDNY member following a multi-vehicle crash in Hell’s Kitchen Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
As CBS2’s Erin Logan reported, witnesses captured video of the man acting erratically after the crash.
Police said just before 12:30 p.m. a 36-year-old man driving an Enterprise box truck north Tenth Avenue at 44th Street hit seven vehicles, two of which were occupied.
“He bangs the left, almost flips the truck over, loses control,” said Matt Tratner.
“We just watched him speed off, and we said to each other, ‘He’s going to kill someone,’” said Leanne Perrins.
As the truck crashed into the vehicles, pedestrians and people with parked cars were saying, “What if?”
“Flabbergasted; yeah. A bit nervous, you know,” one man said. “Because if we’d crossed the road maybe 10 seconds before.”
Edward Natanelov sport-utility vehicle was demolished when it was hit by the truck, but he smiled and said it is only a car. He said before he could even think about the crash he witnessed, all eyes were on the driver of the Enterprise truck.
“I see people just panic and run,” Natanelov said. “It was just very scary.”
Witnesses said they watched the driver jump out of the truck and try to take off.
“He was disoriented; disconnected from reality,” said witness Mark Davalos, who was part of a group that helped chase the man down.
Meanwhile, an FDNY crew was on another call when they came upon the accident in their fire truck, the FDNY said. The crew was pulled off the call and asked for additional resources, the FDNY said.
The box truck driver got angry and entered the fire truck, while the FDNY member who was driving the fire truck was still seated inside, the FDNY said. The assailant jumped on and assaulted the fire truck driver, the FDNY said.
Numerous firefighters tried to stop the man, who was eventually apprehended and taken into custody by the NYPD, the FDNY said.
“He started saying: ‘They’re going to crucify me! They’re going to crucify me!’” Tratner said.
Police said the manwas charged with drunken driving and was taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue for evaluation.
The FDNY member also was taken to Bellevue for minor injuries, the FDNY said.
In all, nine people were injured in the accident and its aftermath including the FDNY member, authorities said. One of the victims was in serious condition, three were in serious, but stable condition and five suffered minor injuries, the FDNY said.
They were taken to Bellevue and to Mount Sinai West Hospital, the FDNY said.
A spokeswoman for Enterprise said, “We will cooperate with authorities but have no further information to share at this time.”