NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A firefighter remains in the hospital in serious condition Thursday after he experienced a medical episode while behind the wheel of a firetruck and plowed into a row of parked cars.
The force left about a dozen cars stacked on top of each other Wednesday night along East New York Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.
“Could have been a tragedy,” one witness said. “When the truck was in front of me it was veering to the left, and I was wondering why was the truck was going to the left toward the buildings. Come to find out, I guess he lost control of the fire truck and crashed.”
The FDNY said the fire engine was stopped at a light at St. Marks and East New York avenues when the firefighter had a medical episode, causing him to lose control. Sources told CBS2 he suffered an apparent seizure and was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
“It looked like something out of the movies,” said a man who lives nearby.
Vanessa Hernandez heard the crash from inside her apartment.
“To me, it sounded like almost the beginning of a thunderstorm,” she said. “This is crazy. I’ve seen my fair share of accidents, but I’ve never seen an accident like this.”
Witnesses said they were shocked no pedestrians were hurt, especially since the crash happened around 6 p.m., when many people are out and about.
“Crazy, scary. It was scary, man. There could have been kids out there, anything man,” one man said.
“It’s a busy street at that time. Luckily, it never was busy yesterday,” said Patrick Gayne.
Unfortunately for Gayne, two of his cars were damaged in the wreck. He told DeAngelis he was working at an auto body shop on East New York Avenue when his two SUVs were sandwiched together, both totaled. He just bought one earlier this week.
“Wow. Cars all the way up in this, all the way almost on top of the firetruck, that’s crazy,” he said. “I couldn’t do nothing more than look. I said, ‘Oh my god’… I never seen nothing like this before.”
As for the cleanup, he said, “just have to take it one day at a time.”
Five other firefighters were also on the truck when it crashed. They were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The truck was on its way back to the firehouse from a call at the time.